The Home Office has confirmed that the Border Force dealt with eight incidents on Thursday involving 201 people. And the French authorities intercepted nine crossings on Wednesday and Thursday preventing 171 people from reaching the UK.
A Home Office spokeswoman said that the Coastguard was involved in rescuing the occupants of one boat near Hastings, East Sussex, on Thursday. She said: “Criminal gangs are putting profits before people’s lives through these dangerous and unnecessary crossings.
“More than 3,500 people have been prevented from making the dangerous crossing so far this year and we are cracking down on the despicable criminal gangs behind people smuggling.
“Inaction is not an option whilst people are dying.
“The Government is bringing legislation forward through our New Plan for Immigration which will break the business model of these heinous people-smuggling networks and save lives.”
The number of people crossing the 21-mile stretch of water has almost doubled so far in 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, with more than 3,100 having reached the English coast by the end of May.
Anti-immigration demonstrations were held in Dover last weekend with protesters blocking access to key trade terminals.