Yesterday two British men were charged with people smuggling after a sinking boat carrying 18 Albanians, including two children, was rescued in the Channel.
Britain is at risk of having a massive migrant crisis like the Mediterranean, experts have warned after a boat of migrants was rescued from the English Channel. The dingy detained yesterday is the second to reach the same location on the Kent coast in just two weeks, sparking fears that many more will attempt the journey. A senior French coastguard has warned the Channel could soon resemble the Mediterranean where thousands of migrants have died. At its shortest point the Kent coast is just under 30 miles across the Channel from France.
The Times reveals that the Home Office dismissed concerns by the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration about the smuggling of people in small boats as "not significant" only months ago. Warnings about Norfolk and Suffolk’s remote creeks and estuaries being attractive to smugglers were ignored, it suggests.
A former head of the Royal Navy described Britain’s borders as a “complete mess” after it emerged just three boats patrol 7,700 miles of coastline. One of the fleet has been sent to the Aegean Sea to tackle the Mediterranean migrant crisis. Both Britain’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency and UHM revenue and Customs officials are said to be “deeply concerned” that the UK has little control of its territorial waters.
Another dinghy with powerful outboard motors was found abandoned on Dymchurch beach. Residents said it was the second attempt in two weeks to smuggle migrants into the UK at the remote spot. A fortnight ago a larger inflatable was found abandoned near the shoreline with up to 30 lifejackets, but no passengers were found.
The discovery will rail concerns the migrants are somewhere in the UK illegally after making the crossing. If this is now the start of something new, then this position needs to be reassessed and resources need to be put in by the government as a matter of priority.