Number of migrants crossing Channel nears 10,000 this year

Migrant Channel crossing incidents Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The number of migrants to have arrived in the UK in small boats across the Channel is approaching the 10,000 mark as two more vessels arrived on Sunday.

A total of 103 people made the crossing in two boats on Saturday bringing the total so far this year, not including Sunday’s arrivals, to 9,803.

This compares to 7,217 by the same date last year and 8,663 in 2022, 3,112 in 2021 and 1,473 in 2020.

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

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, from a Border Force vessel Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Women and children were among those seen being taken off the first of the boats to arrive on Sunday morning as they were taken into Dover onboard a Border Force vessel.

A Home Office spokesman said: “The unacceptable number of people who continue to cross the Channel demonstrates exactly why we must get flights to Rwanda off the ground as soon as possible.

“We continue to work closely with French police who are facing increasing violence and disruption on their beaches as they work tirelessly to prevent these dangerous, illegal and unnecessary journeys.

“Last year they stopped 26,000 people from reaching our shores.

"We remain committed to building on the successes that saw arrivals drop by more than a third last year, including tougher legislation and agreements with international partners, in order to save lives and stop the boats."

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