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Channel crossing: 87 people including children make illegal journey to Dover via boat

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Children were reported to be among the group who arrived in Dover yesterday in four boats. The Home Office said all adults were tested for coronavirus upon arrival, and one tested positive.

The Home Office did not confirm the nationalities and ages of the 87 who arrived yesterday.

French authorities prevented two attempted crossing yesterday, involving 51 people.

Yesterday’s arrival move the total number of detainees this week to 159.

Another 33 people illegally crossed the Channel on Friday.

Strong tidal coefficients are anticipated from Sunday until Tuesday, resulting in sizable currents and waves, according to The French Maritime Prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea.

READ MORE: Channel crossing: UK Army sends military-grade drones to France to curb attempts

Following the incident, the Home Office said: “People should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach and not risk their lives making these dangerous crossings.

“We are continuing to pursue the criminals behind these illegal crossings.

“Police patrols on French beaches and enhanced intelligence sharing between our security and law enforcement agencies has helped to prevent crossings.

“The Government is also returning illegal migrants who have no right to stay in the UK to safe countries.

“In January, new rules were introduced which make asylum claims inadmissible where people have travelled through safe countries to get to the UK through illegal routes.”

It follows reports suggesting the Home Office has invested £12,000 on a “vessel arrest entanglement boom”.

The device, according to The Daily Mail, can be “deployed at speed” to stop a boat’s propellers and bring it to a halt in open water.

It is said to be a “safe way of stopping a vessel without causing harm to the occupants”.

Up to £1 million is thought to have been spent by ministers to prevent illegal Channel crossings.

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Separate reports claim British armed forces sold France £28 million worth of military-grade equipment in an effort to curb migrants making their way across the English Channel.

In the deal, agreed with Paris last year, the armed forces provided drones, thermal imaging gear, advanced binoculars, radar technology and a fleet of motorbikes to detect trafficking boats.

A source told The Times about how thermal imaging equipment is now being used to detect boats that traffickers hide in sand dunes on French beaches.

In addition, the British-provided military-grade drones fare better in misty conditions than those used by the French previously.



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