CHANNEL migrants sneaking into Britain are calling the cops on themselves because they do not fear being sent back home, police yesterday admitted.
The shock admission comes as another 13 migrants arrived off the Dover coast yesterday morning.It will pile more pressure on Sajid Javid, who declared a major incident after 100 migrants washed up in Kent in just a few days over Christmas.
PA:Press Association The UK’s Border Force patrol our coast looking out for intruders
The home affairs parliamentary committee was told migrants are so confident they will be handed a home in Britain they actually want to be found by police.
The foreign nationals – who are mainly from Iran – pay people smugglers up to £5,000 to make the journey on inflatable dinghies.
And when they float towards the shore, they are dialling 999 from their boats, the committee heard.Steve Rodhouse, from the National Crime Agency, told MPs: “People are actively seeking being caught or engaging with UK authorities because rightly or wrongly, they don’t fear being returned.
“I think at the moment it is in the minds of the facilitators and in the minds of those people willing to make the journey that there is a very low risk that they will be returned.”
Kent Police Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said: “On some occasions, from their own boats they are phoning 999 and asking for our help.”
CONFIDENT THEY WILL BE HANDED A HOME
In 2018, over 500 migrants tried to travel to the UK on small vessels, with most marking the perilous journey at the end of the year.
Mr Rodhouse told MPs that while numbers have dipped, that is mainly because of the choppy waters.As the weather gets better, the numbers are expected to soar again, he warned.
Tory MP for Dover, Charlie Elphicke, told The Sun: “This underlines the need to make the English Channel a joint UK French security and safety zone so that any migrants found to have come from France can be helped, carefully and safely back.
“Everyone needs the borders to be patrolled so the traffickers know they can smuggle migrants into Britain.”
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A Home Office spokesman said: “Those who are found to have no right to be in the UK should be in no doubt of our determination to remove them and since January, over ten people who entered the UK illegally on small boats have been returned to Europe.
“The UK continues to work closely with France and other countries to return more migrants who have entered the UK by small boat in order to provide a strong deterrent against the dangerous crossings.”The Home Office said three cutters are on patrol in the Channel.
They said a fourth cutter, HMC Protector, is available to be deployed – but is not currently in the Channel.
Dozens of migrants have been rescued from a small boat off the coast of Dover in Kent