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Channel smugglers cram 30 migrants into boats made for six

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Smugglers are cramming up to 30 people on to small boats to cross the Channel from France to the UK, and children have been among those who have recently fallen overboard, campaigners have revealed.

As crossing attempts surge at the close of summer amid rumours that Brexit will mean tighter border restrictions, criminal gangs are loading inflatable boats up to five times their capacity. Previously, people smugglers would put about eight passengers on each vessel.

Maddy Allen of the charity Help Refugees, which works with more than 1,500 migrants around Calais and Dunkirk, said: “Up to 30 a boat is now commonplace. Boats are overcrowded; we’ve had children knocked off the side.

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