Thirty boats crossed the English Channel with what is believed approximately 828 migrants crossing the Channel in one day this week-end. The previous highest number of people making the journey in one day was 592 on 12 August last. The UK was in fact involved in 30 incidents throughout the day which included rescue operations.
Approximately 193 more people were stopped from crossing by the French authorities intercepting 10 crossings.
Director for immigration charity Detention Action, Bella Sankey said: “The Home Office needs to confront reality. Refugees will continue to come to the UK, as they have for centuries, as long as there are despots, wars and persecution in the world. To end the use of small boats, MPs should create a humanitarian visa system for people in France who are travelling to the UK so they can arrive here in safety and with dignity to make their claims”.
Clandestine Channel threat commander for the UK government, Dan O’Mahoney said: “These dangerous crossings from safe EU countries are not necessary and we are determined to take down the evil criminal gangs who are behind them. We are working across government and with the French and international partners to tackle this issue. We have doubled the number of police officers on French beaches, have prevented more than 10,000 attempts at crossing, secured nearly 300 arrests and 65 prosecutions”.
“The government’s new plan for immigration will fix the broken asylum system so that it can no longer be exploited in this way’. The Home Office have made nearly 300 arrests relating to small boat crossings since July 2020, and has secured more than 65 small boat related prosecutions since the beginning of 2020, totalling more than 53 years in custodial sentences.
The Home Office has allocated £51m to authorities in Calais to secure the border this year, this is in addition to more than £30m in 2020′.
According to a French police commissioner, these criminal gangs can earn up to £700,000 from a single crossing. For the traffickers this business is worth more than drug smuggling, you have a very small outlay for a decent sized boat and that is it. You then proceed to fill it with as many as 30 or 40 people, sometimes more, and charge them 20,000 euros each.
France has agreed to double police patrols on its beaches in a deal with Britain that will also improve the sharing of intelligence.
As the UK continues to try to close off the Channel route, where migrants are often in the hands of human traffickers, it is also dealing with the fallout of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.
As we have heard Britain is to allow 5,000 Afghans in as part of the humanitarian crisis and an additional 15,000 people will be allowed to travel to live in the UK as part of a longer-term plan. However, the government has been criticised for the scale of its response and for putting in danger the lives of Afghans who worked with British military or diplomats.