Number of migrants crossing Channel hits highest daily total ever after 1,295 people arrived in UK


The number of Channel migrants hit its highest ever daily total with more than 1,250 people making the crossing yesterday – bringing the overall number this year above 22,000.

After several days with no crossings, a total of 1,295 people were detected crossing the English Channel in small boats on Monday.

The figure surpasses the current daily record total of 1,185 – set in November last year. The most crossing recorded in one day this year had been 696 set on August 1.

Another 40 migrants were picked up this morning and escorted to Dover, and more are expected are due to the calm conditions at sea.

Among them were a number of families with children. A soldier dressed in camouflage fatigues could be seen carrying a sleeping toddler in his arms. 

Yesterday, some 27 boats were intercepted by Border Force and the Royal Navy, which suggests an average of around 48 people per boat.

August is set to become a record month for the year with around 6,000 migrants having crossed the Channel so far, The Telegraph reports, the highest ever total in a month is 6,878 in November 2021.

The cumulative number of crossings this year now stands at a provisional total of 22,670, last year’s final figure was 28,526.

The UK is close to reaching twice the amount of Channel migrants crossing it had compared to this point last year, by the end of August 2021 there had been fewer than 12,500 crossings.

The number of Channel migrants hit its highest ever daily total with 1,295 people making the crossing yesterday

The number of Channel migrants hit its highest ever daily total with 1,295 people making the crossing yesterday

The cumulative number of crossings this year now stands at a provisional total of 22,670, last year’s final figure was 28,526

This morning a number of families with children arrived in to Dover after crossing the Channel

This morning a number of families with children arrived in to Dover after crossing the Channel

About 40 migrants were escorted to Dover this morning, following a recording breaking day yesterday

About 40 migrants were escorted to Dover this morning, following a recording breaking day yesterday

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel on Monday

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel on Monday

A group of migrants are brought ashore in Dungeness yesterday morning to be processed after making the Channel crossing

A group of migrants are brought ashore in Dungeness yesterday morning to be processed after making the Channel crossing

A woman brings a child into Dover on Monday morning after 21,000 migrants arrived in the UK this year on small boats

A woman brings a child into Dover on Monday morning after 21,000 migrants arrived in the UK this year on small boats 

The first group, which included a number of small children, was escorted into Dover by the RNLI shortly after midnight. 

It included a woman who had a tiny baby strapped to her front in a sling as she guided a toddler down the steps of the boat. She was closely followed by another woman carrying a baby dressed in a shark onesie.

Border Force vessel Ranger then brought more migrants into the port shortly before 10am yesterday. The mostly male group appearing cold, with blue blankets wrapped around their shoulders as they disembarked the boat.

It comes as five African nations are now said to be in ‘advanced talks’ with UK over Rwanda-style deal.

Morocco, Nigeria, Namibia, Niger and Ghana are all in discussions with the government about receiving migrants rejected for asylum from the UK, The Times reports.

Migrants including children have arrived in the dark at Dover in the early of hours of this morning after small boat crossings hit 21,000. Pictured: Members of RNLI escort migrants back to Dover Docks after they were rescued in the English Channel in the early hours this morning

The total number of Channel migrants who have made it to UK waters on inflatable dinghies or other small craft since January 1 has now surpassed 22,000.

A total of 28,526 people crossed the English Channel in small boats in 2021 – compared to 8,410 who arrived in 2020, according to official government figures. 

Last week more than 600 hundred people arrived in a single day on Wednesday according to the official figures released by the Ministry of Defence.

There are also predictions that the numbers travelling to the UK could increase even further as the National Strategy for Maritime Security said up to 250,000 migrants will make come to the UK through the Channel by 2027.

Last week, Conservative leadership candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak both said the military would have a role in policing the Channel if they become Prime Minister.

The Royal Navy patrol the English Channel for small boat crossings by asylum seekers, but its command and control duties are scheduled to end in January, 2023.

Frontrunner Ms Truss told reporters in Scotland: ‘It is an absolute priority to make sure we deal with the issue of small boats and the appalling trade by people traffickers.

‘And I will use every tool at my disposal if I am selected as prime minister to make that happen.’

Asked if the Royal Navy would continue to play a role, she said: ‘Absolutely.’

The news comes as an FOI revealed that more than 50 migrants over 30 were registered as children in the last decade after lying about their age and officials fear migrants with no previous convictions are being drawn into serious crime to repay debts they owe people traffickers.

Channel migrants are now thought to be predominantly Albanians, with 5,000 having made the crossing so far this year.

Albanian drug lords are sending so-called ‘cleanskins’ with no criminal record to Britain to become embroiled in organised criminal gangs, reports the Mail+.

And checks on Channel arrivals are failing to pick up connections between some arrivals and human-traffickers in the Balkans, sources have said.

Lucy Moreton, a professional officer with Border Force workers union the ISU, says staff are facing ‘an increasing amount of violence’ from ‘a lot of young males’.

She said she two staff had been attacked in the past week and a further three bitten.

A child is helped down by an RNLI worker as they are taken off the Dungeness, Kent boat

A child is helped down by an RNLI worker as they are taken off the Dungeness, Kent boat

A young girl is held by people from the RNLI at Dungeness, Kent

A young girl is held by people from the RNLI at Dungeness, Kent 

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has been taking up the task of establishing a list of countries interested in agreeing a Rwanda-style deal.

An initial list of 20 countries was quickly reduced when ambassadors warned that seeking such agreements would damage relations.

Albania, North Macedonia and Moldova were among the initial list, but were removed following negative media coverage.

Tony Smith, former director general of Border Force, called the current migrant figures worrying, adding that it could lead to a reassessment of earlier estimates that 65,000 crossings would be made this year.

He said: ‘I still don’t see any end in sight. There’s nothing really that we can point to and say: ‘We are going to be able to stop this’. It is quite frustrating.’

A Government spokesperson said: ‘The rise in dangerous Channel crossings is unacceptable.

‘Not only are they an overt abuse of our immigration laws, but they risk lives and hinder our ability to help refugees who come to the UK through safe and legal routes.

‘The Nationality and Borders Act will enable us to crack down on abuse of the system and the evil people smugglers, who will now be subject to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

‘Under our new Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda, we are continuing preparations to relocate those who are making dangerous, unnecessary and illegal journeys into the UK in order for their claims to be considered and rebuild their lives.’



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