Kent

Almost 50 migrants intercepted around Kent and Sussex

HMC Searcher, one of four cutter ships patrolling UK waters, at the Port of Dover in Kent Image copyright PA Media
Image caption HMC Searcher, one of four cutter ships patrolling UK waters, at the Port of Dover in Kent

Almost 50 migrants were intercepted off the Kent and Sussex coasts, trying to cross the English Channel.

Twenty people were found around Dungeness by Border Force officials, after arriving in a dinghy, on Saturday.

In a second incident the force's cutter intercepted a small boat in the Channel, and brought 11 men to Dover.

Another six migrants, including three children, were found by police on the Sussex coast.

At about 12:00 BST 10 migrants - eight men and two women - were picked up from another boat travelling across the English Channel, the Home Office said.

All 47 migrants presented themselves as Iraqi and Iranian nationals.

At least 976 people, including about 89 children, have crossed the Channel in small boats since 3 November 2018.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "Anyone crossing the Channel in a small boat is taking a huge risk with their life and the lives of their children.

"Since December, two cutters have returned to UK waters from overseas operations, we have agreed a joint action plan with France and increased activity out of the Joint Coordination and Information Centre in Calais.

"It is an established principle that those in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach and since January more than 50 people who arrived illegally in the UK in small boats have been returned to Europe."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites