Channel crossings: Three times more migrants make treacherous journey in 2021 | UK | News

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Yesterday saw the highest daily number of migrants crossing the channel this year so far, at 209 from nine different boats. It puts 2021’s total of those crossing the Channel at nearly three times higher than it was at this point last year.

The Home Office said another 166 people were prevented from crossing into England by French authorities.

So far, at least 1,977 people have reached the UK by boat this year.

The previous daily record for attempted migrant crossings this year had been 183 on March 23.

By the same point in 2020, fewer than 1,000 people had made the crossing.

Last year saw 8,410 people reached the UK in small boats, after a surge in attempts over the summer.

READ MORE: Channel crossings: Poorer migrants used as ‘decoys’ by smugglers

It comes as authorities flagged concerns there will be a rise in crossings this summer.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) plans to issue a formal alert today to the maritime industry, warning it to be vigilant for people smugglers trying to obtain small boats.

The NCA also warned that since Covid lockdown measures were imposed last March, the number of migrants attempting to enter the UK using small boats has rocketed.

Miles Bonfield, the NCA’s head of organised immigration crime operations, said: “Crossing the Channel in vessels like these is extremely dangerous and life threatening — but the organised crime groups don’t care about safety, they just see migrants as a commodity to be exploited.”


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