Exclusive: People reportedly forced on to small boats at gunpoint as gangs move into trade Refugees have told of increasingly brutal tactics used by people-smugglers transporting thousands across the Channel in small boats, as calm seas and the Covid-19 pandemic create a boom in the trade. The Home Office confirmed on Thursday evening that 6 August was a record day for small boat crossings, with 235 people identified. There were 17 separate incidents, 13 involving interceptions or encounters by Border Force officials and three separate incidents involving recovery by Royal National Lifeboat Institution. One boat containing 15 people landed at Dungeness beach in Kent. The Home Office has pledged to take tougher measurers to halt these crossings.
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