More than 1,000 migrants intercepted trying to cross the Channel in two days

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard an RNLI vessel following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Friday March 4, 2022.
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard an RNLI vessel following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Friday March 4, 2022.

Nearly 5,000 people have been brought to the UK since the start of the year

Published

More than 1,000 people have been intercepted attempting to cross the English Channel in small boats in two days.

The UK authorities brought 395 people ashore from 12 boats on Monday, while another 101 people on four boats were intercepted by the French.

A further 386 people on 12 boats were intercepted by the UK on Tuesday and 162 people from seven boats were stopped by the French.

This means that nearly 5,000 people have been brought to the UK since the start of the year, according to figures collated by the PA news agency.

A number of children were among those who arrived at Dover in Kent, including a girl pictured without shoes.

Minister for justice and tackling illegal migration Tom Pursglove said: “The rise in dangerous Channel crossings is unacceptable.

“Not only are they an overt abuse of our immigration laws but they also impact on the UK taxpayer, risk lives and our ability to help refugees come to the UK via safe and legal routes. Rightly, the British public has had enough.

“Through our Nationality and Borders Bill, we’re cracking down on people-smugglers and fixing the broken system by making it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally, and introducing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for those who facilitate illegal entry into our country.”

A group of people thought to be migrants are supervised by police officers after they landed their small boat on the beach in Dungeness, Kent. Picture date: Thursday March 3, 2022.
A group of people thought to be migrants are supervised by police officers after they landed their small boat on the beach in Dungeness, Kent. Picture date: Thursday March 3, 2022.

These figures have been released in the same week an arrest warrant was issued for a man who frequently films migrants arriving in Dover.

Alan Leggett, also known as “Active Patriot” on social media, was due to appear at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court in Kent on Thursday charged over an alleged racist YouTube clip.

The court issued the arrest warrant after he did not appear at the hearing.

He is charged with sending a letter, communication or article conveying an indecent or offensive message with racist or religious aggravation, in relation to a YouTube clip he posted saying “you’re a Nazi c********r”.

Leggett had earlier indicated he would not attend court, tweeting: “COME REMAND ME I ain’t coming”.

Leggett is well-known within UK far-right circles and has been described by Tommy Robinson, co-founder of the English Defence League, as “our man on the front line”, according to advocacy group Hope Not Hate.