Migrant crossings top 400 in a day for fifth time this year

·2-min read
(Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)
(Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

More than 400 people, including children with soft toys, arrived in the UK on small boats after crossing the Channel on Monday.

It is the fifth time more than 400 made the treacherous journey on boats this year despite a Government focus to crack down on human trafficking.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said 442 people made the journey in 15 boats on Monday. Among them were several young children, including one seen clutching a cuddly toy.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

It is the highest daily total since 444 were recorded on June 14, and is the fifth time this year that the figure has topped 400.

April 13 remains the highest figure so far in 2022, with 651.

Crossings continued on Tuesday, with large numbers of people expected to arrive on the Kent coast.

Some 13,749 people have made the crossing so far this year after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats such as dinghies, provisional Government figures show.

Ministry of Defence data shows crossings have close to doubled since the military was given “primacy” over the issue from mid-April compared with the first three months of this year.

One former defence minister told the Observer that Priti Patel and Boris Johnson’s decision to call in the Navy was effectively providing an “efficient taxi service” for asylum seekers.

It came as a decision on a legal challenge to the government’s controversial Rwanda deportation policy has been delayed until September - with the Home Office refusing to say if it will still attempt removals flights in the meantime.

Refugee charity Detention Action said no forced removals flights of asylum seekers to Rwanda should take place until the court makes a decision.

But the Home Office said it remains “determined” to deliver the policy and is “ready to defend” it in the courts.