Migrant crisis: Plain clothes military officials patrolling UK beaches to catch small boats

Almost 500 migrants were taken to Dover on Wednesday
Almost 500 migrants were taken to Dover on Wednesday
GB NEWS
Mark White

By Mark White


Published: 26/01/2023

- 14:44

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 10:20

GB News understands a total of nine migrants boats managed to make it into UK waters and were picked up by Border Force yesterday

Plain clothes members of the military have been patrolling some of Kent's beaches, on the lookout for any small migrant boats that make it past Border Force and Royal Naval patrols in the Channel, GB News can reveal.

Military rigid inflatables have also been patrolling the coastline, as UK authorities step up their efforts to tackle the small boats crisis.


It comes as almost 500 migrants were taken to Dover on Wednesday, after taking advantage of a break in the weather to make the crossing.

At least eight more small boats attempted to cross but failed to make it into UK waters.

The first boat load arrived in Dover harbour just after midnight yesterday.
The first boat load arrived in Dover harbour just after midnight yesterday.
GB NEWS

Two of the inflatables were punctured by French police officers on a beach near Calais, and around 100 migrants ran off into the nearby dunes.

The first boat load to reach the UK after several days of bad weather arrived in Dover harbour just after midnight yesterday.

It was followed by a steady stream of small boats attempting the crossing throughout the day.

GB News understands a total of nine migrants boats managed to make it into UK waters and were picked up by Border Force.

Around half a dozen other inflatables, with low powered outboard motors, struggled against the prevailing tides and were forced to turn back to France after failing to reach UK territorial waters.

The Border Force and British naval vessels out in the middle of the Channel on Wednesday, were backed up by other patrols back in Kent.

Sources have confirmed that plain clothes military personnel are now routinely out on some of Kent's beaches, were some small boats have managed to make it to shore in recent months.

The discreet patrols are being backed up by other military teams on rigid inflatable boats.

GB News captured images of some of those ribs as they zipped in and out of Dover harbour yesterday.

A total of nine migrants boats managed to make it into UK waters
A total of nine migrants boats managed to make it into UK waters
GB NEWS

The move comes just weeks after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised a crackdown on the Channel migrant crisis, which he said would be a top priority for his government.

Almost 46,000 people crossed in small boats last year, piling huge pressure on the government to do something.

More than two months of winter storms in the Channel have only given way briefly to a few days of better weather, allowing the criminal gangs to launch their boats.

That has taken some of the immediate pressure off the government.

But yesterday's brief weather window showed how every time conditions improve, the boats come back in force.

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