This year has already seen thousands more illegal crossings than 2020 did (Picture: PA)
The number of people who illegally crossed the English Channel last week hit almost 2,000, a new record over a seven day period.
Border security officials faced a wave of boats as people smugglers took advantage of good weather to send 1,959 people on the perilous journey.
A woman clutching a baby and small children being carried on their parents’ shoulders were among those pictured landing on beaches on the south coast last week.
It takes the total for this year to at least 14,400 as tensions between British ministers and the French government mount.
The figures, which were compiled by the Press Association news agency, cover the period up to September 10 but more crossings have been reported since, including today.
Priti Patel has threatened to withhold £54m in funding pledged earlier this year to help border officers on France’s north coast prevent boats from launching in the first place.
People smugglers took advantage of calm conditions to launch a record number of boats in the week up to September 10 (Picture: PA)
Small children were among those who needed to be helped ashore by emergency service workers (Picture: PA)
She reportedly told MPs: ‘We’ve not given them a penny of the money so far and France is going to have to get its act together if it wants to see the cash.
‘It’s payment by results and we’ve not yet seen those results. The money is conditional.’
The home secretary was accused of ‘financial blackmail’ by Gérald Darmanin, her counterpart in Paris.
The Home Office provided more than £30m in funding to French border security in 2020 but the number of crossings are increasing.
With three-and-a-half months left to go, 2021 has already seen just over 6,000 more crossings than last year.
A new record of 828 people confirmed to have successfully made the journey was set on August 21.
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