Children among record number of migrants found crossing Channel

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Tom Savvides

Five children are among a record number of migrants who were rescued after crossing the Channel yesterday.

At least 202 migrants managed to cross to Britain in a surge of 20 boats, the Home Office confirmed.

It is the second time this month that record highs have been seen, with more than a thousand migrants making successful crossings in July.

The Home Office said the number is "unacceptably high".All individuals picked up by Border Force were brought to Dover, where they were expected to have been assessed for symptoms of coronavirus. The Home Office has said coronavirus has had no impact on its ability to respond to migrant crossings.

Charities say the new record is the result of "aggressive evictions" in Calais and called on the Government to establish safe and legal routes for migrants.

More migrants arrived in Dungeness on Friday morning (31 July)

Bridget Chapman, spokeswoman for Kent Refugee Action Network, said: "Everyone on those boats is a human being who deserves a chance to have safe and legal passage to make their claim. That would stop these crossings overnight and would mean we knew exactly who was arriving and when."

Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts, Chris Philp, said: "The number of illegal small boat crossings we are seeing from France is unacceptably high. France have stopped thousands of migrants this year and they stopped more today, but more needs to be done. We need stronger enforcement measures, including interceptions at sea and direct return of boats, and the French have heard that directly from the Home Secretary."