Migrants on board each boat crossing Channel nearly doubled in a year, new figures show

The fresh figures were published in a Home Office report earlier today

Published

The average number of migrants on board each boat crossing the Channel almost doubled in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2021, figures show.

A Home Office report published on Thursday said there had been an average of 32 people per small boat in January to March 2022, compared with 18 people per boat in the first quarter of last year.

The number of boats detected also almost doubled, from 74 to 141 in that time.

Migrants crossing the English Channel has almost doubled in a year
Migrants crossing the English Channel has almost doubled in a year
A Home Office report published on Thursday said there had been an average of 32 people per small boat in January to March 2022
A Home Office report published on Thursday said there had been an average of 32 people per small boat in January to March 2022

The statistics – which confirm the Government’s official recorded data on Channel crossings – show there were 4,540 people detected arriving by small boats in the first three months of 2022, more than three times higher than the same period a year earlier (1,363).

Crossings took place on 30 out of the 90 days.

Most of the people who made the crossing (89 percent) were male, the same as the average between 2018 and 2021, according to the Home Office data.

Some 3,448 men were recorded to have made the journey in the three-month period, as well as 342 women and 743 children, of which 594 were boys and 142 were girls, with seven recorded as unknown.

Some 24 percent (1,094) of the people arriving were Afghan nationals, the most out of any nationality recorded, 16 percent (722) were Iranian and 15 percent (681) were Iraqi.

But information on age, gender and nationality was not available for some arrivals.

Some 9,330 migrants have reached the UK after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats like dinghies since the start of 2022, according to analysis of Government data.

A total of 28,526 people made the crossing in 2021, compared with 8,466 in 2020, 1,843 in 2019 and 299 in 2018, according to official figures.