Home Office begins 12-month trial electronically tagging Channel migrants

·2-min read
Some people arriving in the UK on small boats or via the back of lorries will be electronically tagged as part of a Home Office trial programme (Katie Boyden/PA) (PA Wire)
Some people arriving in the UK on small boats or via the back of lorries will be electronically tagged as part of a Home Office trial programme (Katie Boyden/PA) (PA Wire)

Some people arriving in the UK via small boats or the back of lorries will be electronically tagged as part of a Home Office trial programme.

The department said the 12-month pilot, which began on Wednesday, will test whether electronic monitoring is an effective way to give immigration bail to those who arrive in the country using “unnecessary and dangerous” routes.

It comes after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday granted an injunction that resulted in a chartered aircraft to Kigali being unable to depart Wiltshire.

Home Secretary Priti Patel accused the ECHR of being politically motivated in its “absolutely scandalous” decision, while Justice Secretary Dominic Raab suggested new laws could ensure that interim measures from the Strasbourg court could effectively be ignored by the Government.

The BBC reported the first to be tagged under the bail programme were likely to be those who had avoided being removed to Rwanda.

The Home Office said the trial will test whether tagging aids regular contact with those given bail and progresses their claims more effectively.

Those tagged will have to regularly report in person to authorities, may be subject to a curfew or excluded from certain locations, and failure to comply could see them returned to detention or prosecuted.

It comes after new figures revealed the number of people crossing the Channel to reach Britain this year has passed 11,000.

Analysis of Ministry of Defence data by the PA news agency shows 11,092 people have been brought to shore by Border Force or the RNLI after being rescued from small boats in the Channel, the world’s busiest shipping lane.

On Thursday, 146 people on four small boats were brought to Britain.

The daily number has been decreasing steadily throughout the week after a high of 444 on Tuesday. That was the highest number since 562 on April 14.

At least 48 people were brought ashore at Dover on Thursday, including women and children as well as adult men.

(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)

Warm weather and calm seas this week may have encouraged an increase in attempted crossings.

With 13 days of June left to go the number of people crossing the Channel is almost double this time last year.

By the end of June 2021, 5,911 people had made the crossing so far that year.

PA analysis shows 341 boats have been used in Channel crossings so far this year, with an average of 32 people on board each one.

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