Drones and radars are supposed to prevent migration across the English Channel
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Over 40 migrants had to be rescued from distress this weekend alone. With a new agreement, Great Britain and France want to make the smugglers’ business more difficult. In addition to more police, surveillance technology will also be used from now on.
EAgreement on a controversial issue: Due to the steadily increasing number of illegally entering migrants, Great Britain and France have agreed to stricter controls on the English Channel. The agreement provides for France to monitor its beaches more closely, including the use of drones and radars.
On Saturday, 45 migrants were again in distress when crossing the English Channel, including a pregnant woman and several children.
They had to be rescued by the French police and emergency services. Your boat got into distress off Dunkirk. Several migrants suffered from hypothermia but were otherwise fine. All were brought back to Calais.
In view of the good weather at the weekend, the French sea rescue had already expected that more refugees than usual would dare to cross, according to helpers.
Numerous migrants have been trying for months to get to the UK via the dangerous and busy shipping route. Four deaths were recorded last year and seven this year.
In September over 1,300 people tried to cross
British Home Secretary Priti Patel welcomed the deal with France.
The common goal is to ensure that “channel crossings are no longer worthwhile”. The issue had previously sparked political tension between Paris and London as Britain accused France of not doing enough to halt crossings.
In September, the French authorities said they had stopped over 1,300 migrants trying to cross the English Channel. A handful of them wanted to swim the 30 kilometers. Around 6,200 attempted the crossing with rubber dinghies, kayaks or so-called paddleboards between January and August, some even only with life jackets.
It has now been agreed that from now on, twice as many police officers will be deployed on the coast on the French side as before – how many there will be, however, initially remained unclear. In addition, drones, radar systems and other surveillance techniques are to be used in ports and coastal regions.
Most recently, the family died while crossing
This year, according to statistics from the British news agency PA, more than 8,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel to reach the UK. Often they undertake the dangerous journey on small, unsafe rubber dinghies, and people are repeatedly killed.
The number of arrivals has risen significantly – in 2019, according to PA, only just under 2000 migrants crossed the English Channel. The death of a refugee family from Iran recently made headlines. Father, mother and one child drowned and the 15-month-old baby is still missing today.
The charity Detention Action has sharply criticized the actions of the British government. The organization’s director, Bella Sankey, said there was an urgent need to create safe and legal routes for migration instead.