Channel crossings continue as more migrants arrive in Kent

Crossings resumed this week, amid cold conditions after a period of bad weather had prevented many from attempting the journey.

Flora Thompson
Thursday 16 December 2021 18:52
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI (Gareth Fuller/PA)
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI (Gareth Fuller/PA)

More migrants arrived in Kent on Friday after crossing the English Channel.

Among the large numbers of people seen being brought ashore in Dover on Thursday was a young girl, wearing a woollen hat and gloves and clutching a teddy bear as she was led away from the water.

Another young child was pictured being carried to safety while a long line of adults were seen holding blankets around them as they waited to be processed.

Crossings resumed this week, amid cold conditions after a period of bad weather had prevented many from attempting the journey.

A young girl was seen clutching a teddy bear as she arrived in Dover on Thursday (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Since the start of the year, more than 26,000 people have reached the UK after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats, according to data compiled by the PA news agency. This is more than triple the total for the whole of 2020.

It comes after inspectors found migrants were still being held in “very poor” conditions after coming ashore despite Home Office assurances of “significant improvements”.

Women who said they had been raped by smugglers were “not adequately supported”, and lone children were being held with unrelated adults, according to findings published after migrant detention facilities had been visited in the past three months.

Many wrapped themselves in blankets to try and keep warm amid the cold weather (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Earlier this week, the Home Office confirmed part of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) site in Manston, near Ramsgate, will also be used to process migrants.

Meanwhile, French prosecutors said 26 of the people who died after trying to cross the English Channel by boat last month to reach the UK have now been formally identified.

At least 27 are thought to have died, including seven women, a teenager and a seven-year-old girl. The identity of one migrant remains unknown, Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said in a statement.

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