Channel crossings resume as babies and young children brought ashore

After three days of no reported attempts, migrants start making the hazardous journey in small boats again

A child is carried  off a UK Border Force vessel, in Dover, Kent, on England's south coast, after a small boat was intercepted in the English Channel. Getty
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

After a lull of three days, migrants began crossing the English Channel again on Monday, with babies and young children among those arriving in the UK from France.

Large numbers of people brought ashore in Dover, in Kent, on England's south coast, on Monday, several young children wrapped in blankets and wearing woolly hats.

The dockside was filled with piles of life vests after dinghies and other vessels were intercepted in the Channel.

No arrivals had been recorded in Kent between Friday and Sunday.

More than 21,300 people have arrived in the UK after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats such as dinghies in 2022 to date, according to provisional government figures.

Almost 5,000 have made the journey already this month.

August has seen the highest number of crossings in a seven-day period so far this year. Some 2,415 people made the journey to the UK between August 11 and August 17.

The highest number of crossings for a single day so far in 2022 was recorded on August 1 when 696 made the journey in 14 boats, Ministry of Defence data shows.

The daily figure has topped 600 three times this month.

A leaked report from Britain’s military said that of the 2,863 migrants smuggled by nine separate gangs in the six weeks from the start of June, 1,075 — 37.5 per cent — were Albanian, three times more than any other nationality.

There were 28,526 people detected arriving on small boats in the calendar year 2021, according to government figures.

Migrant crossings on the English Channel surge amid heatwave - in pictures

It is four months since Home Secretary Priti Patel unveiled plans to send migrants to Rwanda in a bid to curb Channel crossings.

Since then, 16,107 people have arrived in the UK after making the journey.

In April, Ms Patel signed what she described as a “world-first” agreement with Rwanda under which the east African nation will receive migrants deemed by the UK to have arrived illegally and are inadmissible under new immigration rules.

But the first deportation flight — due to take off on June 14 — was grounded amid legal challenges.

Afghan migrant documents dangerous journey across Channel - video

Several asylum seekers, the Public and Commercial Services Union and charities Care4Calais, Detention Action and Asylum Aid are challenging the legality of the Home Office policy, with the next court hearings due in September and October.

Updated: August 22, 2022, 9:20 PM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL