June migrant crossings hit highest monthly number for a year

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channe Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

More than 3,000 migrants crossed the Channel to the UK in June - the highest monthly total this year.

Some 3,136 made the crossing on 76 boats in the 30-day period, with journeys taking place on 19 of those days, according to PA news agency analysis of government figures.

Of the 12,690 people who made the journey in the first half of this year, the second highest month for crossings was 3,074 in March.

After navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats such as dinghies, 2,871 made the crossing in May, 2, 143 in April, 1,322 in January and 144 in February, according to Home Office figures for the first quarter of the year and subsequent data collected by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Children were seen being brought ashore in Dover on Thursday Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

The highest month on record since 2018 was for 6,971 crossings in November 2021.

The total for 2022 so far is more than five times the amount recorded between January and June 2020 (2,493) and more than double the six-month tally for the first half of last year (5,917).

Crossings continued on Thursday with 94 people arriving in Dover, Kent, in two boats.

A change in the weather saw activity slow on Friday. The figures indicate 51,824 people have made the crossing since 2018.

Home Office figures show 28,526 crossed in 2021, compared with 8,466 in 2020, 1,843 in 2019 and 299 in 2018.

Despite the increasing numbers, the UK’s small boat arrivals are a fraction of the number of people going to Europe.

Data from the UN Refugee Agency shows at least 120,441 people arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean by land and sea in 2021.

Earlier this week, Home Secretary Priti Patel struck a fresh deal with Nigeria, which her department said will do more to tackle “illegal migration” and speed up the “removal of foreign criminals”.

At the same time, the Home Office said 13 people who had “no right to be in the UK” were deported to Nigeria, with a further eight flown to Ghana.