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Channel migrant crossings fall sharply – French officials

The number of migrants trying to cross the Channel from France to Britain by boat has fallen sharply after a spike late last year, according to authorities in northern France. Between January and March this year, 23 vessels carrying about 200 people managed to reach England’s shores, down from 39 carrying 286 people between October and December, Fabien Sudry, the head of security for the northern Pas-de-Calais region, said late Thursday. The official attributed the decline to tighter patrols along the northern French coast, which has long been a staging post for attempts by mainly Afghan, Iranian, Iraqi and African migrants to reach England, AFP reported. Some 500 people attempted to cross the Channel last year, compared with just 13 known attempts in 2017. Around half managed to reach British waters.