Number of migrants who crossed Channel in 2021 now double last year's total

In the whole of 2020, 8,417 migrants made the perilous crossing.

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The number of people crossing the English Channel in small boats has now reached double the figure for the whole of last year.

GB News can reveal that more than 660 migrants were intercepted as they crossed the Channel on Sunday, taking the total to 17,085 for the last 9 months.

In the whole of 2020, 8,417 migrants made the perilous crossing.

The figure is an alarming milestone in what has become a growing crisis, with the British government spending many millions of pounds to help find a solution to stemming the tide of those falling into the hands of people traffickers.

On Sunday, Border Force vessels, along with the Coastguard and the RNLI were inundated with multiple sightings of migrant boats.

Most were taken to Dover harbour and the makeshift processing center there.

Others were landed further east in Ramsgate by the Border Force catamaran Hurricane.

One boat, packed with 42 migrants, made it ashore at St Margaret’s Bay, before those on board were led away by Border Force officers.

The Home Secretary Priti Patel has said tackling the small boat crisis is a “top priority” for her and her department.

As well as boosting the number of Border Force vessels in the Channel and patrolling the waters with a fleet of unmanned drones, the Home Office is making an additional £54 million available to French authorities.

The Home Secretary has reiterated the need for France to do all it can to stop migrants leaving their shores in the first place.

The National Crime Agency has been working more closely with its French equivalent, but the organised criminal gangs running the people smuggling operations are constantly adapting their tactics.

From initially using a few known beaches around the port of Calais, the people smuggling gangs are now pushing boats out from anywhere along a 150 mile stretch of French coastline.

As weather conditions in the Channel worsen in the months ahead, authorities on both sides say they they are deeply concerned it may only be a matter of time before a significant tragedy unfolds in the busy shipping lane.