NEWS
27/12/2018 18:07 GMT | Updated 27/12/2018 18:08 GMT

Further 23 Migrants Reach Britain After Christmas Spike In Channel Crossings

At least 70 people have made the journey since Christmas Day.

Nearly two dozen more migrants reached British shores on Thursday after at least 48 made it across the English channel on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The people who arrived on December 27 – at least three of whom were children – all claimed to be Iranian, and were detained by British authorities at Folkstone, Shakespeare Beach and Dover. 

Eleven more were found by French authorities and were returned to French soil.

Immigration minister Caroline Nokes said the number of incidents over the festive period was “deeply concerning”.

The news comes as 45 migrants, including two children, were found off-shore in different five boats, or detained once making it to land, on Christmas Day.

A further three men were rescued on Boxing Day, bringing the total to at least 70 in the three-day period.

All of the people who are brought to British shores are given a medical examination.  Adults are then questioned by immigration officials, with any children being taken to social services.

The spike in attempted crossings follows a steady increase in the number of migrants trying to get to Britain, with more than 100 trying to journey across the channel in November. 

Nokes said: “Some of this is clearly facilitated by organised crime groups while other attempts appear to be opportunistic

“We are in close and continual contact with the French authorities and law enforcement partners including through the new UK-France Co-ordination and Information Centre which opened in Calais at the end of last month to tackle criminality at the border.

“Attempting to cross the channel in this way is extremely dangerous and they are putting their lives at risk. People should also be in no doubt that Border Force and the Police Aux Frontieres are working together 24 hours a day to prevent attempts, protect life and prosecute offenders.

“At the same time the UK’s NCA-led Organised Immigration Taskforce is working to stop people smuggling at source.”

The Conservative MP for Dover, Charlie Elphicke, said that the authorities needed to “get a grip” on the situation. 

“This is an incredibly dangerous crossing to make in the middle of winter,” he added.

“Our volunteer lifeboat crews are being called out nearly every day. The British and French authorities must get a grip and find and stop the traffickers... before there is a tragedy.”