Channel migrant crossings: Record broken as around 1,000 detected on small boats in single day

The record for the number of Channel migrants crossing in a single day this year has been smashed, as more than a thousand were detected on small boats today, GB News can reveal

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The previous record of 696 in a single day was reached at the beginning of this month, as migrants were intercepted and pulled off 14 small boats on 1 August.

Over the weekend, weather conditions were too poor in the Channel for small boats to safely navigate.

But with flat calm conditions, and very light winds arriving on Sunday evening, the first boats since the end of last week took to the water.

At half past midnight, the Dover lifeboat arrived back into Dover harbour with around 50 people onboard.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Ramsgate, Kent
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Ramsgate, Kent
Cumulative successful arrivals in the UK by people crossing the English Channel in small boats
Cumulative successful arrivals in the UK by people crossing the English Channel in small boats

An hour later, the Ramsgate lifeboat arrived with 58 people who were taken off two small boats.

The record number of small boat crossing comes as GB News saw evidence that those trying to smuggle themselves to the UK in the back of lorries continue to be an ongoing problem.

In an average year, around 8,000 people are detected trying to cross inside lorries and other vehicles.

At Calais, Dunkirk, and other ports in north west France, thousands of migrants hang around waiting for a chance to scale the perimeter fences and onto the lorries.

We filmed throughout the night, as lone migrants and others in groups walked through the lorry parks near Calais.

Several young men were seen checking out the trailers of lorries and trying to jump onboard as the HGVs headed off towards the port.

French police patrols are frequent, and we filmed as some migrants hid between the trailers to avoid detection by the passing police patrols.

Although thousands of mainly young men have been detected by enhanced Border Force checks at UK ports, there are no estimates for the numbers who have made it into the UK undetected.

Figures show that more than 90 percent of those detected onboard lorries go on to claim asylum.

But it is believed many of those who make it successfully to the UK hidden in vehicles go on to work in the illegal economy.

A Government spokesperson said: “No one should be putting their lives at risk in the hands of people smuggling gangs by getting into dangerous, unventilated lorries.

“We have robust measures in place to detect clandestine entrants and stop them crossing the Channel – this includes conducting regular searching of freight and the deployment of detection dogs to find migrants hidden in vehicles.

“The UK continues to work with French partners to tackle illegal immigration more widely, including disrupting organised crime groups who facilitate illegal entry into the UK."