Several protesters have been arrested after a coach was blocked in a bid to stop asylum seekers being taken to the Bibby Stockholm barge from Peckham.

Activists have been held on suspicion of obstructing the highway after the protest near the Best Western Hotel in Peckham.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan said: “My officers were quickly on scene and have engaged with the protesters at length.

“My officers had warned the group that obstructing the highway, and obstructing police, are criminal offences and that they could be arrested.

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“We will always respect the right to peaceful protest, but we have been clear that where there is serious disruption and criminality then we will take decisive action. The situation is ongoing, and we will provide more information when we can.”

On Wednesday, 711 people were detected crossing the English Channel on Wednesday, the highest number on a single day so far this year, according to provisional figures from the Home Office.

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The cumulative number of arrivals by small boats in 2024 now stands at a provisional total of 8,278.

This is 34 per cent higher than the total at the equivalent point last year, which was 6,192, and 19 per cent higher than the total at this stage in 2022, which was 6,945.

Some 14 boats were detected on Wednesday, which suggests an average of around 51 people per boat.

There were 29,437 arrivals across the whole of 2023, down 36 per cent on a record 45,774 arrivals in 2022.

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Home Secretary James Cleverly said protesters who have blocked the coach “will not… deter us from doing what is right for the British public”.

He said in a post on X, formerly Twitter: “Housing migrants in hotels costs the British taxpayer millions of pounds every day.

“We will not allow this small group of students, posing for social media, to deter us from doing what is right for the British public.”