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Channel crossings: Fifty people land on Kent beach in single dinghy

image copyrightPA Media

A group of about 50 people have crossed the English Channel and landed on a Kent beach in a single dinghy.

Photographs show dozens of people, including women and young children, arriving at Dungeness on Monday.

On Sunday, eight boats carrying 241 migrants reached the UK, the Home Office said. Nearly 8,000 people have reached the UK in about 345 boats in 2021.

The Home Office said it was bringing forward new laws to deter crossings.

image copyrightPA Media

The average number of people in each small boat has increased sharply in the past year, according to BBC analysis of Home Office figures.

In 2020, an average of 13 people arrived in each dinghy, rising to 22 per boat this year.

Dan O’Mahoney, clandestine channel threat commander, said: “We continue to target gangs responsible for these crossings.

“We have doubled the number of police officers on the ground in France, leading to more interceptions and arrests.”

French authorities intercepted seven small boats, preventing 129 people making the crossing on Sunday.

New legislation was unveiled this month which the government hopes will deter migrants crossing the English Channel.

The Nationality and Borders Bill will make it a crime to knowingly arrive in the UK without permission, punishable by a prison sentence of up to four years.

Mr O’Mahoney said: “Our New Plan for Immigration will break the business model of these criminal gangs whilst welcoming people through safe and legal routes.”

The Home Office has been asked to comment on Monday’s crossings.

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