New UK-France deal to tackle migrant crossings after thousands make the trip this year UK news

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The UK and France have struck a new deal to tackle migrants crossing the Channel with more officers patrolling the beaches and “cutting edge” surveillance technology deployed, the Home Office said.

More than 8,000 people have reached the UK after making the dangerous crossing on small boats this year as numbers have rocketed, according to the latest figures.

This despite the wish of the Minister of the Interior in 2019 to make such trips a “rare phenomenon”.

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Priti Patel has reached an agreement with the French Minister of the Interior on the fight against migrant crossings

Priti Patel and the French Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin have now signed an agreement in which they “reaffirmed their commitment to make this path unsustainable”.

The Interior Ministry said the number of French officers patrolling the beaches will double from December 1 – although it has not disclosed how many officers this will be due to “operational sensitivities”.

The officers will patrol a 150 km (93 mile) stretch of coastline regularly targeted by human smuggling networks to prevent “more dangerous and unnecessary passages,” he added.

The Minister of the Interior and her French counterpart have also reportedly agreed on an “improved package of cutting-edge surveillance technologies – including drones, radar equipment, optronic binoculars and fixed cameras”.

A Home Office statement said: “The specialized equipment will allow the French to be more efficient in searching and clearing areas more quickly and will help ensure that officers are deployed in the right place at the right time, thus increasing the number of migrants and facilitators detected and prevented from entering the water. ”

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People believed to be migrants are pictured on a border forces boat in Dover on Friday

The agreement also includes “measures to help migrants find suitable accommodation in France” and measures to strengthen border security at ports in the north and west of France, he added.

This comes a month after the members of a Kurdish-Iranian family has died when their boat capsized in the English Channel.

Rasoul Iran-Nejad and his wife Shiva Mohammed Panahi, both 35, drowned alongside two of their children, Armin, 6, and Anita, 9.

Rasoul Iran-Nejad, 35, Shiva Mohammad Panahi, 35, Anita, 9, and Armin, 6.  Pic: Hengaw Organization for Human Rights
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Rasoul Iran-Nejad, 35, Shiva Mohammad Panahi, 35, Anita, 9, and Armin, 6. Pic: Hengaw Organization for Human Rights

A third child, Artin, who was only 15 months old, is said to have disappeared at sea, but rescuers no longer search the waters.

Other migrants arrived in Dover on Friday, several boats reportedly crossing the Channel.

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‘I said please don’t go by boat’ before a fatal trip

They reportedly included children and a woman who was seen being helped on the ground by officials, apparently having difficulty walking.

Temperatures at the port of Kent ranged from 7 ° C to 8 ° C (45 ° F to 46 ° F).

Last week a fishing boat with 69 people hidden on board was intercepted by British Border Force boats off the Norfolk coast and escorted to Harwich.

The migrants, all Albanians, were questioned about alleged immigration offenses.

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