Migrant crossings resume as 158 people cross English Channel to UK

Five children were among 158 people who crossed the English Channel from France on Sunday, the first small boats arrivals for more than two weeks.

Four toddlers wrapped in hooded jackets and a baby being carried in an adult’s arms were seen arriving at the Kent port.

Crossings over the perilous Dover Strait – quiet for two weeks due to bad weather – have now resumed, with four boats arriving on Sunday and many thought to be attempting the journey on Monday morning.

Border Force and French authorities are again active in the Channel on Monday in what could be a busy day for migrant crossings.

Sunday’s arrivals brought the total number of people who have crossed to the UK aboard small boats this year to more than 12,500, according to data compiled by the PA news agency.

Child migrants arrive in Kent
Children were among those who arrived in Kent on Monday (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Crossings in 2021 have already eclipsed last year’s annual total of 8,417 and that tally continues to rise on fair weather days.

Despite this, the UK continues to see far fewer boat arrivals and asylum claims than many of its European counterparts.

In Dover on Sunday, a child’s cries were heard as they were helped ashore from a Border Force boat by immigration officials.

They were led up a gangway by staff and taken to the Home Office facility on the quayside.

Across the water, French authorities rescued a four-year-old child among 23 people on board an inflatable boat that had got into difficulty after suffering engine damage.