Published: Tue, January 01, 2019
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Iranian migrants found on United Kingdom beach as English Channel crossings mount

Iranian migrants found on United Kingdom beach as English Channel crossings mount

The men made the trip in an inflatable boat with a rigid hull on December 30, landing in Kingsdown, according to the British Home Office.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid cut short a family Christmas break to return to the United Kingdom after declaring a "major incident" on Friday, as 39 migrants in small boats have arrived on the Kent coast since Christmas Day.

The Home Secretary's handling of the issue was described as "Dad's Army" by one critic, the Mail on Sunday says, while one MP called for boats to be seized.

But he resisted calls to deploy more cutters to the Channel, saying he was keeping the number of vessels available to the Border Force "under close review".

"Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Javid said: "[The government] will not stand by and allow reckless criminals to take advantage of some of the most vulnerable in our global society.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said the armed forces were ready to offer help if needed.

On Christmas Day, 40 people in five separate groups reached British shores after a journey by boat across the English Channel.

There has been a recent spike in attempts to from the Channel from France.

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Britain's Home Office, which oversees immigration, said the two ministers agreed to an "enhanced action plan" and plan to meet again in January.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott branded Mr Javid's efforts to bring the crisis under control as "flawed" and criticised his slow response.

Officers attended to assist Border Force officials who are dealing with the case.

The BBC reported that after arresting two smugglers earlier this year, police compared crossing the channel in a small boat to "trying to cross the M25 at rush-hour on foot", referring to one of Britain's busiest roadways.

Chris Hogben, from the NCA, said its work with French colleagues had resulted in dozens of attempted crossings being prevented.

Speaking with the backing of the church, the newspaper reports, the Rt Rev Trevor Willmott said: "Across the nation, we have been celebrating the season of hope and goodwill as we remember Christ's birth - let's not forget so soon that every person is precious".

The charity said: "How can we claim to uphold our proudest tradition of offering sanctuary to those fleeing persecution if we require people to make death-defying journeys to claim that right and then imprison them indefinitely in detention centres when they arrive?"

"Instead of laying the blame exclusively at the hands of criminal gangs, Sajid Javid must step up and provide safe passage for those in distress if he wants to avoid further human tragedy", the charity said in a statement.

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