Migrants cross English Channel for sixth consecutive day amid record numbers

Officials met a group of people who had crossed the English Channel to get to Dungeness, Kent on Saturday morning

More migrants have arrived in the UK for the sixth consecutive day after making the perilous journey across the English Channel.

At least 650 people have made the dangerous crossing from France through busy shipping lanes to reach English shores this week alone.

Several people, some of whom were with children, were met by officials on Saturday morning after arriving in Dungeness, Kent.

More people made the journey across the Channel to make it to Kent on Saturday Credit: Vincent Colletta/ITV News

On Friday, Border Force was captured appearing to intercept a small boat carrying a group of people off the coast of Dover, Kent.

A man carrying a young child on his shoulders, who was wrapped in a blanket and wearing a woollen hat, were among a group seen arriving in Dover on Friday amid bright and breezy conditions at sea.

A man carries a young child as a group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, by Border Force Credit: PA

The crossings came as Home Secretary Priti Patel was seen meeting Border Force officers in the Kent port town on Thursday.

Figures show at least 655 migrants have arrived in the UK since Monday.

But the numbers are so far substantially lower than the week before.

Border Force picked up a small boat crossing the English Channel on Friday Credit: PA

A new record was set for the year so far when 1,959 people made the crossing in the week to September 10, according to data compiled and analysitv news kentd by the PA news agency.

This is said to mark the highest total for any seven-day period in 2021.

At least 14,900 people have crossed to the UK on board small boats this year.

The total for 2021 so far is already more than 6,500 higher than the number of people who made the crossing in 2020.

A group of people who had made the crossing to Dover were picked up on Friday Credit: PA

Numbers have been rising sharply in recent years with each subsequent year seeing far higher totals than the previous year.

Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said earlier this week: "This unacceptable rise in dangerous crossings is being driven by criminal gangs and a surge in illegal migration across Europe.

"We’re determined to target the criminals at every level, so far, we have secured nearly 300 arrests, 65 convictions and prevented more than 10,000 migrant attempts."

"But there is more to do. The government’s New Plan for Immigration is the only credible way to fix the broken asylum system, breaking the business model of criminal gangs and welcoming people through safe and legal routes."