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Drone pictures show scores of dinghies used by people crossing the English Channel lying in storage in Dover

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Dinghies used by people crossing the English Channel can be seen piled up in rows at a storage compound.

More than 100 small boats are being stored at the facility in Dover after being intercepted by Border Force officers making the perilous sea voyage from France to the Kent coast.

Boats used to cross the English Channel by people thought to be migrants are stored at a facility in Dover, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Boats used to cross the English Channel by people thought to be migrants are stored at a facility in Dover, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Recent calm weather conditions have led to a rise in the number of would-be asylum seekers making the dangerous journey, with record numbers now making the crossing in small boats.

In July so far, more than 3,300 have arrived in the UK in a new record for a single month, according to data analysis by the PA news agency.

One Sunday alone more than 350 asylum seekers reached the shores of the county after crossing the Channel.

Government officials fear that high numbers of crossings will continue as summer goes on, despite the dangers posed by crossing the busy shipping lanes, with small boat arrivals this year having already passed the total for the whole of 2020.

It is estimated that as many as 22,000 people or more could cross the Channel in small boats this year.

Small boats are put in storage after being intercepted in the Channel by Border Force officers (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Small boats are put in storage after being intercepted in the Channel by Border Force officers (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Despite this, the UK continues to see fewer boat arrivals and asylum claims than many other European nations.

At least 44,230 people have arrived in Europe by land and sea so far this year, according to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Last week Home Secretary Priti Patel announced an agreement to more than double the number of police patrolling French beaches, with the Government to give France £54 million in a bid to reduce the number of Channel crossings.

The Home Secretary told MPs last week that she had made her views on the situation “abundantly clear” to her French counterpart.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

Deal Dover Folkestone Hythe Romney Marsh Rhys Griffiths



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