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Priti Patel sets up a high-tech command center in the war against people smugglers


Priti Patel has set up a new command center to catch people smugglers who are carrying migrants across the English Channel.

At the high-tech center, which is in a secret location in Dover, Kent, UK authorities will work with law enforcement in Calais to conduct increased air, land and sea surveillance.

The move comes after the Interior Minister signed a new treaty with France in late November The promised to double patrols along a 90-mile stretch of the French coast in search of people smuggling gangs.

The command center will be led by Dan O & # 39; Mahoney, the government's small boat commander, who was due to work with the French last August to tackle the canal crossings.

Priti Patel has set up a new command center in Dover to improve air, land and sea surveillance over the English Channel

The command center, where the UK authorities work with law enforcement in Calais, is led by the Government Commander for Small Boats, Dan O & # 39; Mahoney (Home Secretary left).

The command center, where the UK authorities work with law enforcement in Calais, is led by the Government Commander for Small Boats, Dan O & # 39; Mahoney (Home Secretary left).

Migrants arrive in Dover today after being rescued by Border Force officers along the English Channel

Migrants arrive in Dover today after being rescued by Border Force officers along the English Channel

Mr O & # 39; Mahoney said: “Significant steps have been taken over the past year, including increased surveillance and patrols on the beaches, which have made crossing the Channel in these dangerous and unnecessary ways more difficult than ever.

& # 39; Improved information sharing has resulted in the French preventing more than 6,000 attempts over the past year, but we know more needs to be done.

& # 39; By establishing the new command cell, we are making the UK and French law enforcement response more agile than ever.

"It will ensure we have the right skills in the right place at the right time to prevent boats from leaving French beaches and to deal with people who make it into the water, to save lives and the criminals responsible in court to deliver."

The move, which is part of a stepped-up government operation codenamed Altair, is taking place, figures show 8,417 migrants made the treacherous small boat and dinghy journey to reach the UK shores in 2020.

Twenty migrants arrived in Dover earlier this morning after being picked up on small boats by Border Force along the English Channel in two separate cases, the Home Office said.

The scenes came just a day after Border Force halted a boat that was carrying up to 35 migrants towards the Sussex coast.

Lifeboats were launched yesterday afternoon to rescue the migrants from a boat believed to have carried children and five injured.

A Border Force team is escorting the migrants ashore after they were rescued along the English Channel this morning

A Border Force team is escorting the migrants ashore after they were rescued along the English Channel this morning

A migrant wears a life jacket as they are brought ashore by officials in Dover, Kent, on Sunday morning

A migrant wears a life jacket as they are brought ashore by officials in Dover, Kent, on Sunday morning

A group of migrants is brought ashore by border guards in Dover after being spotted along the English Channel

A group of migrants is brought ashore by border guards in Dover after being spotted along the English Channel

The Home Office said 20 migrants came to Dover after being rescued by teams on two separate occasions

The Home Office said 20 migrants came to Dover after being rescued by teams on two separate occasions

One person is brought ashore by Border Force officers

A migrant is brought ashore

Migrants are being brought ashore by Border Force officials after making the dangerous crossing this morning

Figures show that 8,417 migrants made the treacherous journey in small boats and dinghies to reach the UK shores in 2020. Image: Rescue teams bring a group of migrants ashore on Dover

Figures show that 8,417 migrants made the treacherous journey in small boats and dinghies to reach the UK shores in 2020. Image: Rescue teams bring a group of migrants ashore on Dover

A lifeboat brings a group of migrants in life jackets to the coast in Dover today

A lifeboat brings a group of migrants in life jackets to the coast in Dover today

One person is escorted by a Border Force officer

A migrant is accompanied by an officer

A migrant is escorted by a Border Force officer after exiting a lifeboat this morning

Coast Guard teams and RNLI lifeboats from Eastbourne and Newhaven, as well as rescue teams from the Bexhill, Eastbourne and Langdon Battery Coast Guard, were called on the rescue mission at around 12:45 p.m.

They received reports of a ship "with about 30 people on" in trouble some 23 miles south of Beachy Head.

HM Coastguard confirmed to the BBC yesterday that it is "coordinating a search and rescue response" after receiving a report that it was "in trouble with about 30 people on board".

The organization said it was "the preservation of life, the rescue of people in difficulty and the safe return to land where they will be handed over to the appropriate emergency services or partner authorities".

Migrants, including children and five reportedly injured, were pictured at Sovereign Harbor in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Rescue workers – including lifeguards and police services – helped people ashore, including children wrapped in blankets, to be brought to safety.

Sussex Police told The Argus that the Border Force was there and several people had been arrested.

Rescue teams take in migrants who make the treacherous journey along the English Channel

Rescue teams take in migrants who make the treacherous journey along the English Channel

A migrant is brought ashore by rescue teams

Border guards rescue a group of migrants

The migrants arrive in Dover after being picked up on small boats by Border Force

Migrants arrive at Sovereign Harbor in Eastbourne, East Sussex on Saturday after a rescue operation to rescue a boat in trouble.

Migrants arrive at Sovereign Harbor in Eastbourne, East Sussex on Saturday after a rescue operation to rescue a boat in trouble.

The rescue services received reports of a ship "with about 30 people on board" in trouble some 23 miles south of Beachy Head. Pictured: A person is helped ashore

The rescue services received reports of a ship "with about 30 people on board" in trouble some 23 miles south of Beachy Head. Pictured: A person is helped ashore

Pictured: a young migrant is carried by a police officer. Coast Guard teams and RNLI lifeboats from Eastbourne and Newhaven, as well as rescue teams from the Bexhill, Eastbourne and Langdon Battery Coast Guard, were called on the rescue mission at around 12:45 p.m.

Pictured: a young migrant is carried by a police officer. Coast Guard teams and RNLI lifeboats from Eastbourne and Newhaven, as well as rescue teams from the Bexhill, Eastbourne and Langdon Battery Coast Guard, were called on the rescue mission at around 12:45 p.m.

On Saturday afternoon, police assisted Border Force staff in taking in a number of people suspected of not being allowed to enter the UK. They were on a ship that had been safely towed into Sovereign Harbor in Eastbourne by the RNLI.

"The detainees are being taken into custody and being looked after by the Border Force for further investigation."

The facilities at the port have been prepared to bring people ashore after the emergency call today.

In their full statement to MailOnline, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said: & # 39; HM Coastguard coordinated a search and rescue response to an incident 23 miles south of Beachy Head.

A report was received shortly after noon that a ship with about 30 people on board was in trouble. We have dispatched RNLI lifeboats from Eastbourne and Newhaven, as well as rescue teams from the Bexhill, Eastbourne and Langdon Battery Coastguard.

"HM Coastguard is only concerned with saving life, rescuing people in difficulty and safely repatriating them to land where they will be turned over to the appropriate rescue services or partner authorities."

The Home Office told MailOnline that the UK authorities dealt with six incidents involving 103 people on Saturday, while the French authorities blocked three boats with 29 people on board from entering UK waters.

The department said it would comment on the specific incident later.

In the picture: two young migrants are accompanied by lifeguards after disembarking from a lifeboat

35 migrants arrived, including 5 injured. It comes after the first migrants crossed the Channel last week after the UK left the EU

Although the UK's new trade deal went into effect January 1, and with it came new laws for asylum seekers, the rules for those attempting the crossing remain largely the same

Although the UK's new trade deal went into effect January 1, and with it came new laws for asylum seekers, the rules for those attempting the crossing remain largely the same

HM Coastguard confirmed to the BBC today that it is "coordinating a search and rescue response" after receiving a report that it was "in trouble with about 30 people on board". Pictured: an officer carries a person ashore

HM Coastguard confirmed to the BBC today that it is "coordinating a search and rescue response" after receiving a report that it was "in trouble with about 30 people on board". Pictured: an officer carries a person ashore

A boat carrying about 10 people was intercepted and brought into Dover Marina, Kent, just before 5 a.m. on January 2. Pictured: rescue workers escort young migrants

A boat carrying about 10 people was intercepted and brought into Dover Marina, Kent, just before 5 a.m. on January 2. Pictured: rescue workers escort young migrants

The crossing came after the first migrants crossed the canal last week after Britain left the EU.

A boat carrying about ten people was intercepted and brought into Dover Marina, Kent, just before 5am on January 2nd.

Border Force towed the blue and white rigid-hulled inflatable boat into the harbor before escorting the migrants to the gangway for processing.

In 2020, four times as many migrants made the dangerous crossing than in 2019 as official figures show, and more than 8,400 made the dangerous crossing, up from 1,844 in the previous year.

Immigration Compliance Minister and the Courts, Chris Philp, said: “People should seek asylum in the first safe country they reach, and not risk their lives making a dangerous and illegally facilitated passage.

& # 39; The government has taken significant steps to address this unacceptable problem of illegal migration. These efforts have contributed to a 70% reduction in crossings since September on fair weather days through direct intervention on the French beaches. This means that we were able to change the crossing patterns that led to an increase in small boat activity in 2018 and 2019.

After leaving the EU, this government will work to repair the broken asylum system. Legislative changes are being made to allow cases to be treated as improper when they have traveled through a safe country. The government will continue to try to return those who have no legal right to stay in the UK. "

Pictured: A lifeguard helps a young migrant down a flight of stairs from a lifeboat on Saturday

Pictured: A lifeguard helps a young migrant down a flight of stairs from a lifeboat on Saturday

Interior Minister Priti Patel signed a new treaty with France in late November after 757 people crossed to prevent crossings from getting off their banks

Interior Minister Priti Patel signed a new treaty with France in late November after 757 people crossed to prevent crossings from getting off their banks

Groups of migrants tried to dangerously cross the end of the Brexit transition agreement on either side.

One group was rescued and taken to Dover on New Year's Eve, and another was rescued by French officials on New Year's Day.

Although the UK's new trade deal went into effect January 1, and with it came new laws for asylum seekers, the rules for those attempting the crossing remain largely the same.

Britain has announced that it will no longer accept asylum applications at sea, which should pave the way to France for those crossing the canal.

However, the UK will not be allowed to do this until an agreement has been reached with France.

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