Home Secretary Priti Patel says she’s “determined” to stop illegal Channel crossings by migrants. On Friday 73 migrants were intercepted from the Channel and people landing in Dover were given face masks amid concerns about reports of a coronavirus epidemic in migrant camps near Calais.
At least 470 individuals have attempted to cross the Channel illegally since Britain went into lockdown on 23 March.
Ms Patel said: “I am determined to stop this criminal trade.”
Charities have called on the UK government to “create safe and legal routes” for those seeking refuge.
‘Cease chasing unicorns’
“I will not stand by whilst malicious criminals prey on the vulnerable.
“Criminal gangs are using false claims to make the most of desperate situations and illegally smuggle people in the united kingdom.
“I am determined to prevent this criminal transaction,” she said.
“We’re continuing to encourage the French to set up more patrols on French beaches, drones, expert vehicles and detection equipment to prevent these ships leaving European shores,” she added.
“I will always make sure Border Force has the tools required to handle these dangerous crossings and keep our border secure.”
Bella Sankey, manager of charity Detention Action, stated: “The home secretary should stop chasing unicorns and level with the public.
“The only way to eliminate boat crossings and place people smugglers from business is to make safe and legal routes for those seeking refuge.”
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