Record number of migrants detected crossing English Channel in small boats

A total of 1,295 people were detected crossing the Channel on Monday, the Ministry of Defence said

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Almost 1,300 migrants crossed the English Channel in small boats on Monday, the largest ever number to cross in a single day, according to official figures.

The numbers released by the Ministry of Defence show that 1,295 people were detected on 27 small boats in the Channel yesterday.

That number surpasses the previous record of 1,185 who crossed on 11 November 2021.

Until yesterday, the largest number to cross on a single day this year happened at the beginning of this month when 696 people were spotted and recovered in the Channel.

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

Over the weekend, weather conditions in were too poor in the Channel for small boats to safely navigate.

But with flat calm conditions, and very light winds arriving on Sunday evening, the first boats since the end of last week took to the water.

At half past midnight, the Dover lifeboat arrived back into Dover harbour with around people onboard.

An hour, the Ramsgate lifeboat arrived with 58 people who were taken off two small boats.

The record number of small boat crossing comes as GB News saw evidence that those trying to smuggle themselves to the UK in the back of lorries continues to be an going problem.

Almost 1,300 migrants crossed the English Channel in small boats on Monday
Almost 1,300 migrants crossed the English Channel in small boats on Monday

On an average year, around 8,000 people are detected at UK ports, having illegally crossed inside lorries and other vehicles.

At Calais, Dunkirk, and other ports in north west France, thousands of migrants hang around waiting for a chance to scale the perimeter fences and onto the lorries.

We filmed throughout the night, as lone migrants and others in groups walked through the lorry parks near Calais.

Several young men were seen checking out the trailers of lorries and trying to jump onboard as the HGVs headed off towards the port.

French police patrols are frequent, and we filmed as some migrants hid between the trailers to avoid detection by the passing police patrols.

Although thousands of mainly young men have been detected by enhanced Border Force checks at UK ports, there are no estimates for the numbers who have made it into the UK undetected.

Figures show that more than 90 percent of those detected onboard lorries go on to claim asylum.

But it is believed many of those who make is successfully to the UK hidden in vehicles go on to work in the illegal economy.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The rise in dangerous Channel crossing is unacceptable. Not only are they an overt abuse of our immigration laws but they risk the lives of vulnerable people, who are being exploited by ruthless criminal gangs.

“Our new Nationality and Borders Act is breaking these evil criminal’s business model, through tougher sentences for those who facilitate illegal entry into the country, with 38 people already arrested and facing further action since it became law.”