Migrants crossing Channel this year on course to pass 20,000 within a week

Latest official figures from the Ministry of Defence show that 386 people were taken off eight small boats in the English Channel yesterday

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The number of Channel migrants crossing into UK waters on small boats this year is on course to hit 20,000 within a week, after almost 400 arrived on Monday.

Latest official figures from the Ministry of Defence show that 386 people were taken off eight small boats in the English Channel yesterday.

Operations began at first light, with the Border Force catamaran Typhoon arriving at Dover after intercepting two small boats.

88 people were taken to the Border Force processing centre in Dover harbour.

People thought to be migrants arrive in Dover
People thought to be migrants arrive in Dover
Almost 400 migrants arrived on Monday
Almost 400 migrants arrived on Monday

Channel operations, coordinated by the Royal Navy, continued throughout the day, with the Border Force vessel Hurricane landing dozens more at Dover last night.

Today, weather conditions in the Channel are not suitable for small boat crossings, with north easterly winds of around 15 knots pushing up large swells.

But GB News’s Kent based producer said one small boat had still managed to make the crossing, with 38 people on board.

GB News analysis of the latest figures show that 18,708 people have now arrived in UK waters since 1 January this year.

Although conditions in the Channel are poor at the moment, they are expected to improve as the week progresses, with hot and calm conditions set for the weekend.

Sources on the French side of the Channel report thousands of migrants currently camped around Calais and Dunkirk, waiting to make the crossing.

A temporary shortage of small boats has apparently now been resolved by the criminal gangs.

Law enforcement agencies in the UK and several European countries managed to disrupt the supply of small boats after smashing a people smuggling ring last month.

According to the UK’s National Crime Agency, organised criminal gangs had been sourcing the boats in Turkey, before transferring the main components to Germany, before they were taken to areas along the north western coast of France and hidden near the beaches.

But after that temporary disruption to the supply chain, people smuggling gangs appear to have sourced many more of the inflatable vessels, which can carry up to 50 people each.