French authorities intercept more illegals heading for Britain

Five more migrants were returned to Calais early on Friday morning after their boat got into difficulty attempting to reach Britain, French authorities confirmed.

The boat was picked up by the French surveillance centre in distress approximately 9km north-west of Calais.

The French coastguard was immediately informed and offered assistance, returning the migrants to Calais at 01:36am local time.

As the cold, wintry conditions subside, the two nations are experiencing a considerable increase in attempted crossings as migrants who have made it to Europe attempt to reach Britain.

According to a recent Europol report, a record 15,000 migrants tried their luck across the Channel last year, with 8,417 being successful.

And these figures look set to be beaten this year with new statistical analysis by the UK’s top immigration think tank, Migration Watch UK, showing a 17% uptick in the pace of arrivals year-on-year in the first two months of 2021.

Close to 250 migrants have been recorded as making the trip in the last four days alone, with around half reaching British soil and the rest being intercepted in French waters and returned to ports in northern France.

Shocking footage surfaced on Tuesday of 21 illegal immigrants landing on a beach in Kent before dispersing in an attempt to evade immigration officials. They were later caught and detained by Kent Police.

The British government has sanctioned the supply of military-grade kit to France in a £28 million deal to encourage greater co-operation on tackling the Channel crisis and intercepting more migrants before they enter British waters.

The equipment includes drones, thermal imaging gear, advanced binoculars and radar technology as well as a fleet of motorbikes.

As a result of greater intelligence sharing and co-operation, despite record attempted crossings so far this year, 70 per cent of those recorded have been thwarted by authorities.