Largest number of migrants this year picked up off coast of Dover, as authorities say hot weather behind increase in crossings


Authorities in France, who intercepted 21 people attempting to cross the Channel earlier this month, say that warm weather and a lull in maritime traffic may have influenced the smugglers’ decision to send boats out to sea.

Ingrid Parrot, from the French Naval headquarters for the Channel and North Sea, said: “Of course, the weather is a big factor in when people choose to go, and it has been very good this weekend.

“But it is not the only factor. There is maybe less traffic on the sea, which means they might think it is easier to cross.

“It is sometimes thought that because it is a public holiday, there are fewer people working so it will be easier to cross. This is not true. We still have Gendarmes patrolling, one boat out at sea and helicopters on standby.”

Ms Parrot said that it was difficult to determine exactly when and from where crossings would take place, but that as the spring turns to summer “it is probable that more people will try to cross.”

The Home Office also confirmed that two Coastal Patrol Vessels and two cutters, HMC Vigilant and HMC Searcher, remain deployed in the Channel working as part of an enhanced patrol rotation.


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