Channel migrant crossings in 2022 surpass total number in whole of last year

Government figures show the total number of Channel crossings for this year at 28,561, compared to 28,526 throughout the whole of 2021

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More migrants have crossed the English Channel to the UK so far this year than in the whole of 2021, Government figures suggest.

Some 601 people were detected on Monday in 19 boats, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said, taking the provisional total for the year to 28,561.

This suggests an average of 32 people per boat in the latest day of crossings.

Last year’s total was 28,526, according to official figures.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent

The 2022 figure to date is nearly double the number that had been detected by this point last year, which was just under 14,500.

There have been 3,518 crossings recorded in September so far, analysis shows.

August 22 saw the highest daily total on record, with 1,295 people crossing in 27 boats.

It is more than four months since the then home secretary Priti Patel announced plans to send migrants to Rwanda to try to deter people from crossing the Channel.

More migrants have crossed the English Channel to the UK so far this year than in the whole of 2021, Government figures suggest
More migrants have crossed the English Channel to the UK so far this year than in the whole of 2021, Government figures suggest

Since then 23,293 people have arrived in the UK after making the journey.

On April 14 Ms Patel signed what she described as a “world-first” agreement with Rwanda, under which the East African country will receive migrants deemed by the UK to have arrived “illegally”, and are therefore inadmissible under new immigration rules.

However, the first deportation flight, due to take off on June 14, was grounded amid legal challenges.

Several asylum seekers, the Public and Commercial Services Union and charities Care4Calais, Detention Action and Asylum Aid are embroiled in a court case with the Home Office as they challenge the legality of the policy.

The number of people reaching the UK in small boats from France after navigating busy shipping lanes has increased steadily in recent years.

Some 299 were detected in 2018, followed by 1,843 in 2019 and 8,466 in 2020, official figures show.

Despite the growing numbers, the small boat arrivals are a fraction of the number of people going to mainland Europe.

Data from the UN’s refugee agency shows at least 120,441 people arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean by land and sea last year.

The MoD said its data is taken from “live operational systems” and is subject to change, “including reduction”