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Migrant gives double thumbs-up as group including babies and young children arrive on RNLI lifeboat

Un migrant présumé a souri et a levé le pouce car il faisait partie des dizaines de personnes amenées à terre à Dungeness ce matin

A suspected migrant smiled and gave the cameras a double-thumbs up as he was one of dozens of people brought to shore in Dungeness this morning.

Groups of young men, women and children – including babies – were pictured being transported to land on the Kent coast by the RNLI on Wednesday morning, as the total number to arrive by small boats this year nears 30,000.

People wearing winter coats, some carrying youngsters, climbed down a ladder from a packed RNLI lifeboat and on to the beach. They then boarded buses and were taken to be processed.

The number of arrivals so far suggests the 30,000 milestone could be reached by the end of the day.

It comes as 93 people were brought into the harbour at Dover on Tuesday in four boards, according to the Ministry of Defence.

The latest official numbers take the total for the year to 29,809 so far compared to 28,526 for the whole of 2021. In 2020 there were just 8,410 people who made the crossing.

Windy conditions had prevented migrants from risking the treacherous journey since last Thursday when 617 asylum seekers were intercepted. But calmer conditions in the last two days has enabled crossings to resume.

A suspected migrant smiled and gave a double-thumbs up as he was one of dozens of people brought to shore in Dungeness this morning

A suspected migrant smiled and gave a double-thumbs up as he was one of dozens of people brought to shore in Dungeness this morning

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI following a small boat incident in the Channel

Groups of young men, women and children were pictured being transported to land on the Kent coast by the RNLI on Wednesday morning, as the total number to arrive by small boats this year nears 30,000

Groups of young men, women and children were pictured being transported to land on the Kent coast by the RNLI on Wednesday morning, as the total number to arrive by small boats this year nears 30,000

A group of people thought to be migrants walk up the beach in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI

A group of people thought to be migrants walk up the beach in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI

A man carries a young child as a group of people thought to be migrants walk up the beach in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel

A man carries a young child as a group of people thought to be migrants walk up the beach in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants board a bus in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI

A group of people thought to be migrants board a bus in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI

 

A man carries a young child as a group of people thought to be migrants walk up the beach in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel

A man carries a young child as a group of people thought to be migrants walk up the beach in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI following a small boat incident in the Channel

IN NUMBERS: 2022’s migrant record  

The number has increased steadily each year since 299 people were detected making the journey in 2018.

There were 1,843 crossings detected in 2019, 8,466 in 2020 and 28,526 in 2021, according to the Home Office

The current cumulative total for 2022, 29,809 is more than double the number at this point last year (14,474).

Of the 29,809 people who have been provisionally detected so far this year, 23,831 have crossed since the Government announced on April 14 that it had agreed a deal to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The first deportation flight – due to take off on June 14 – was grounded amid a series of legal challenges.

In 2021 more than half of the people detected crossing the Channel were of Iranian or Iraqi nationality (30% and 22% of the total respectively).

A further 10% were Eritrean, 9% were Syrian and 5% were from Afghanistan.

Former home secretary Priti Patel said in the House of Commons on September 5 that Albanian nationals accounted for around 60% of the people arriving in the UK via small boats over the summer.

The average has risen steadily since the start of 2021.

In 2018 there were fewer than 10 people per boat, while in 2019 and 2020 the figure tended to fluctuate between single figures and the high teens.

From 2021 the average started to increase, reaching 20 in March and 30 in August.

And last month, Government officials said it was remarkable there had not been any drownings or other serious incidents so far this year as the average number of people per boat rose to 44, compared to 28 in 2021. 

The first two weeks of September alone saw 4,056 people arrive in 96 boats, and more were expected to risk the perilous journey this week amid better weather conditions at sea. 

In 2021 there were 28,526 migrants detained in what was then a record compared to 8,410 in 2020.

But 2022 became an official record year after the MoD confirmed 601 people had arrived in the UK on September 12 – taking the total to 28,561.

The issue will be among the top priorities for new Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who replaced Priti Patel when Liz Truss became prime minister. 

She is said to be deliberately reaching out to Home Office staff in a bid to have a ‘clean break’ from her predecessor’s ‘challenging’ tenure, which saw Ms Patel’s leadership mired by claims of bullying before a Cabinet Office inquiry found she had broken the ministerial code – only holding onto her position because the then-PM Boris Johnson rejected the findings. 

Civil servants told the Times that Ms Braverman has ‘gone out of her way’ to show that she will respect staff. 

It comes after morale reached ‘rock bottom’ following the Home Office’s failed bid to fly migrants to Rwanda – with one mandarin comparing it to Nazi Germany in an internal Q&A on the controversial policy. 

However Ms Braverman has told staff she will ‘double down’ on the plans. 

One Tory MP told the Times: ‘She’s as rightwing as Priti, but cleverer. Priti was affected by her experience at the Home Office over the Rutnam thing — a lot of baggage. 

‘Once that happened, she was always in a difficult situation because why would the Home Office want her to succeed? [Braverman] is not unaware of the scale of that problem, though. She’s very aware that she’ll have to be very decisive in order to get what she wants done.’

Ms Braverman previously told allies that she wants to substantially increase the use of detention facilities in Britain to house migrants arriving to the Kent coast. 

A man walks through water with a blanket around him after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI this morning

A man walks through water with a blanket around him after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI this morning

A man carries a young child as a group of people thought to be migrants are helped to shore in Dungeness

A man carries a young child as a group of people thought to be migrants are helped to shore in Dungeness

A group of people thought to be migrants walk up the beach in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI

A group of people thought to be migrants walk up the beach in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI

A group of people thought to be migrants walk up the beach in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI

A group of people thought to be migrants walk up the beach in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI

A woman and young boy amongst a group of people thought to be migrants as they walk up the beach in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI

A woman and young boy amongst a group of people thought to be migrants as they walk up the beach in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants walk up the beach in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI

A group of people thought to be migrants walk up the beach in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI

A group of people thought to be migrants board a bus in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI

A group of people thought to be migrants board a bus in Dungeness, Kent, after being rescued in the Channel by the RNLI

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI following a small boat incident in the Channel

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI following a small boat incident in the Channel

Natalie Elphicke MP for Dover said: ‘The numbers of arrivals are deeply concerning. It’s vital to see the small boats crisis brought to an end as the seas will become colder and rougher as we head into Autumn and Winter.

‘Action is needed now to avoid further tragic loss of life on the English Channel.’

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