Eight migrants detained in Kent village
Eight migrants, including a child, have been detained in a Kent village.
They presented themselves as Iranian nationals on Thursday morning, the Home Office confirmed.
Border Force was alerted at around 6.30am to a small inflatable boat travelling across the Channel close to St Margaret’s Bay.
Officers from Border Force and Kent Police were deployed to the area and found a small inflatable boat on the beach.
The eight people were intercepted in St Margaret’s Bay and taken to Dover to be medically assessed before being transferred to immigration officials to be interviewed.
A Home Office spokesman said: “Crossing the Channel in a small boat is a huge risk.
“The criminal gangs who perpetuate this are ruthless and do not care about loss of life.
“We are working closely at all levels with the French authorities to tackle this dangerous and illegal activity.
“In addition, Border Force cutters are patrolling the Channel and we have deployed equipment to detect migrant activity.
“Last month the Home Secretary and her French counterpart agreed to intensify joint action to tackle small boat crossings in the Channel.
“This includes drawing up an enhanced action plan to deploy more resources along the French coast to intercept and stop crossings.”
Since January, the Home Office has returned to Europe more than 80 migrants who entered the UK illegally in small boats.
The latest Border Force action came two days after hundreds of people including several families with young children were evicted from a migrant camp in France.
Around 100 French police surrounded the Espace Jeunes du Moulin in Grande Synthe, a town in Dunkirk, at around 7am on Tuesday and escorted aid workers off the site, Care4Calais said.
The group fears this could lead to a spike in people trying to cross the Channel.