Channel migrant crossings exceed 21,000 this year after 606 make trip in small boats

Official figures released by the Ministry of Defence show that 606 people were taken off 12 small boats on Wednesday

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More than 600 people crossed the English Channel in small boats on Wednesday, taking the total number who have reached the UK this year to more than 21,000.

Official figures released by the Ministry of Defence, which runs Command and Control of the Channel migrant operation, show that 606 people were taken off 12 small boats by UK authorities after reaching British territorial waters.

It’s the fourth time that more than 600 people have crossed in a single day this year.

Yesterday’s figures take the total number of Channel migrants who have made it to UK waters to 21,164 since January 1.

Drag row
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent
The total number of Channel migrants who have reached the UK this year has passed 21,000
The total number of Channel migrants who have reached the UK this year has passed 21,000

GB News journalists in north west France said the weather conditions had improved significantly on Wednesday, allowing large numbers of people to cross.

The team reports thousands of migrants are currently camped out in multiple locations, particularly around Calais and Dunkirk.

The GB News crew has spent the past few days in the area, documenting the beach battles between French police and the migrants.

French officers were seen rushing in beach buggies to sightings of groups of people in the dunes, and firing tear gas to disperse them.

But as soon as police move away to disperse another group, those who have been chased away were seeing making fresh attempts to get to the water.

GB News filmed as one group of 50 migrants ran to the sea with a large green inflatable.

Within a couple of minutes, most had clambered aboard as the vessel picked up speed and headed out into the Channel.

The team in France said it perfectly illustrated the cat and mouse game the migrants and criminal people smugglers play with French police, and the almost impossible task of effectively policing hundreds of square miles of dunes and coastline.