‘False alarm’ at Hastings as 85 migrants intercepted in the Channel

Police and border patrol officers called to Hastings after reports of migrants coming ashore have confirmed the incident was a ‘false alarm’.

Thursday, 16th July 2020, 10:56 am
Border Force (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

A total of 85 migrants were intercepted in six incidents in the Channel on Wednesday (July 15), the Home Office has confirmed.

However, a spokesman for the Home Office said no migrants came ashore at Hastings, calling the incident a ‘false alarm’.

In a statement, the Home Office said: “The crossings are often organised by dangerous criminal gangs. Our priority will always be arresting and dismantling the organised crime gangs behind these crossings.

“Border Force and partner agencies have dealt with six incidents today (15 July) after being alerted to small boats in the Channel travelling towards the UK.

“Incident one RNLI intercepted a vessel which was carrying four males who presented themselves as Sudanese nationals.

“Incident two: At around 4.25am a Border Force vessel intercepted a vessel which was carrying 16 males who presented themselves as Yemeni, Syrian, Egyptian, Iranian, Kuwaiti and Palestinian nationals.

“Incident three: At around 4.50am a Border Force vessel intercepted a vessel which was carrying 17 males and five females who presented themselves as Iranian, Iraqi, Kuwaiti and Syrian nationals.

“Incident four: At around 5am a Border Force vessel intercepted a vessel which was carrying 12 males who presented themselves as Syrian, Egyptian, Iranian, Kuwaiti, Iraqi and Palestinian nationals.

“Incident five: At around 5.30am a Border Force vessel intercepted a vessel which was carrying 18 males who presented themselves as Iranian, Syrian, Ethiopian, Somalian, Sudanese, Eritrean and Vietnamese nationals.

“Incident six: At around 6.20am a Border Force vessel intercepted a vessel which was carrying 10 males and three females who presented themselves as Iranian, Yemeni and Turkish nationals.”

“All were secured by immigration officials, and, in line with established processes, were assessed to establish whether there are any medical requirements.

“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: “We are continuing to take action to stop these dangerous crossings – making arrests, returning people and intercepting boats. The French have prevented more than 200 attempts in the past week alone.

“But there is still more to do which is why we have set up a new Franco-British intelligence cell, which will go after the criminals facilitating these crossings.”