20 migrants detained at Pett Level beach

Border force officers were called to Pett Level after reports of 20 migrants landing on the beach.

Friday, 24th July 2020, 5:16 pm
Updated Friday, 24th July 2020, 5:26 pm
A stock picture of Pett Level SUS-190316-111545001

A spokesman for the Home Office said reports came in at 1.45pm on Thursday (July 23).

A total of 20 people were encountered, the Home Office said.

A Home Office spokesman said there was no detail on gender or nationality at this stage.

The incident at Pett Level was one of eight incidents dealt with by border force patrol officers on Thursday.

A spokesman said these related to small boats in the Channel travelling towards the UK.

In a statement, the Home Office said: “Incident one: At around 7.40am a Border Force vessel intercepted a vessel which was carrying 13 males who presented themselves as Iranian, Yemeni and Syrian nationals.

“Incident two: At around 7am a Border Force vessel intercepted a vessel which was carrying 12 males. There is no nationality breakdown at this stage.

“Incident three: At around 9.10am a Border Force vessel intercepted a vessel which was carrying 10 people. We do not have gender or nationality breakdowns at this stage.

“Incident four: At around 7am a Border Force vessel intercepted a vessel which was carrying 13 people. We do not have gender or nationality breakdowns at this stage.

“Incident five: At around 1.45pm reports were received of a landing at Pett Level Beach. Border Force officers attended and 20 people were encountered. We do not have gender or nationality details at this stage.

“Incident six: At around 12.10pm a Border Force vessel intercepted a vessel which was carrying 11 people. We do not have gender or nationality details at this stage.

“Incident seven: At around 12.10pm a Border Force vessel intercepted a vessel which was carrying four people. We do not have gender or nationality details at this stage.

“Incident eight: At around midday a Border Force vessel intercepted a vessel which was carrying three people. We do not have gender or nationality details at this stage.”

The Home Office said all were secured by immigration officials and, in line with established processes, were assessed to establish whether there are any medical requirements.

A spokesman added: “They will be interviewed and their cases will be dealt with in line with the immigration rules, transferring to detention where appropriate.

“The migrants have left a safe country – generally France – and where appropriate we will be seeking to return them.

“In line with Public Health England guidance, Border Force and all operational staff have the relevant Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available to them.”

Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts Chris Philp said: “These crossings are illegally facilitated and no one should be attempting them in the first place.

“The French have stopped thousands of migrants this year, with more stopped today, and those who reach the UK via this route are being returned. But we are pressing the French Government for stronger enforcement measures, including interceptions at sea and direct returns of boats.

“We are also taking action to prevent boats from launching, including setting up a joint intelligence cell, to go after the criminals behind these crossings. This year, 22 people smugglers have been jailed and earlier this week our investigations resulted in 10 more arrests.”