Number of migrants crossing the Channel this year edges closer to 33,000

The Ministry of Defence recorded 499 people making the journey on Thursday in 10 boats, taking the provisional total for 2022 to date to 32,807.

Flora Thompson
Friday 30 September 2022 17:51 BST
People thought to be migrants walk through the Border Force compound in Dover, Kent, after being brought from a Border Force vessel following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Thursday September 29, 2022.(Gareth Fuller/PA)
People thought to be migrants walk through the Border Force compound in Dover, Kent, after being brought from a Border Force vessel following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Thursday September 29, 2022.(Gareth Fuller/PA)

Almost 500 migrants arrived in the UK in one day as the total number of Channel crossings for the year so far edged closer to 33,000.

The Ministry of Defence recorded 499 people making the journey on Thursday in 10 boats, taking the provisional total for 2022 to date to 32,807.

Children wrapped in blankets were seen being carried to safety while other people clutching their belongings in bin bags were pictured being brought ashore in Dover, Kent, to be processed.

Crossings continued on Friday for the second day this week after a period of poor weather prevented attempts across the Channel for five days.

So far in September, 7,767 people have made the crossing, according to PA news agency analysis of government figures.

The crossings come as campaigners warned migrant children could be mistakenly sent to Rwanda if the Home Office wrongly decides they are adults as they highlighted errors in some of its age assessments of asylum seekers.

There have been 27,539 crossings since then home secretary Priti Patel announced the deal with the east African nation in April.

A report published by the Refugee Council on Friday said 94% of 233 children it supported last year were wrongly considered to be aged over 18 by the Home Office. Only 14 were found to be adults.

The charity said it has “already had to intervene to stop children who were incorrectly assessed as adults from being detained awaiting removal to Rwanda”.

The Home Office said age assessments were “challenging but vital” and legal reforms would make the checks “more consistent and robust” by using scientific methods, despite the Council describing the plans as “flawed” and the procedures “not reliable”.

Meanwhile, 227 foreign criminals and 306 immigration offenders have been removed from the UK this month and returned to countries including Romania and Zimbabwe, the department said.

Some 84 Albanian foreign criminals were among those removed and returned to their home country, as well as 21 immigration offenders. This included one who had arrived by boat after crossing the Channel.

In August Ms Patel pledged to speed up removals of Albanians with no right to be in the UK as part of efforts to tackle the growing number of people from the south-eastern European country crossing the Channel.

New Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the Government was taking a “zero-tolerance approach to anyone who comes to the UK and breaks our laws”.

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