News

More than 20,000 people have crossed Channel to UK this year, figures show



M

ore than 20,000 people have got into small boats and made the dangerous trip across the English Channel to the UK since the start of the year, figures show.

UK authorities rescued or intercepted 456 people who attempted the crossing on Tuesday.

Some 19,756 people had already reached the UK after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats, according to data compiled by the PA news agency.

This is more than double the total for the whole of 2020.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA) / PA Wire

Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander for the Home Office, described the journey as “dangerous, unnecessary and facilitated by violent criminal gangs profiting from misery”.

He added: “We are working with the French to stop boats leaving their beaches and crack down on the criminals driving these crossings.”

The French authorities also prevented 343 people from reaching the UK on Tuesday.

It comes a week after several migrants were feared to have been lost at sea while attempting the journey.

Among the large numbers of people seen being brought ashore in Dover on Monday was a young girl clutching the hand of a man as she was led away from the water.

During what witnesses described as a steady stream of arrivals – amid relatively calm and sunny conditions at sea – staff were spotted carrying away a brightly coloured dinghy, decorated with a tropical-style scene featuring images of parrots and flamingos.

Almost 20,000 people have reached the UK in small boats since the start of the year. (Gareth Fuller/PA) / PA Wire

The Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

Last week, Home Secretary Priti Patel described an incident in which as many as three people are thought to be unaccounted for after trying to cross from France to the UK in a dinghy as “appalling” and an “absolute tragedy”.

Two men – both Somali nationals – were rescued off the Essex coast near Harwich on October 25 and searches for any possible remaining survivors have now been called off.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *