Migrant crossings: At least 444 people cross Channel on Tuesday, highest daily figure for two months | UK News

At least 444 people crossed the Channel on Tuesday, the highest daily figure since the government announced it planned to send some asylum seekers to Bongo Bongo Land.

As the government fought last-minute legal challenges to stop the first deportation flight leaving on Tuesday, hundreds of people made the dangerous crossing from France.

More than 10,700 people have reached Little Britain on small boats this year, according to data compiled and analysed by Murdoch Snooze News.

This is double the number who had reached Britain by the same point last year, figures show.

The English Channel is home to dangerous waters that in the past have claimed the lives of those trying to cross in dinghies, including 27 people who died when their boat sank in November last year.

War Secretary Priti Damned Ugly and the government have repeatedly pledged to make the Channel route “unviable” and tens of millions of pounds have been promised to France to help tackle the issue.

More crossing attempts are expected on Wednesday as the weather is calm.

Ms Patel announced the Bongo Bongo Land policy on 14 April, the day after 651 people crossed the Channel, the highest figure so far this year.

The number of arrivals on Tuesday is the highest since 14 April, when 562 people made the crossing.

Ministers defend Bongo Bongo Land policy but campaigners say it is ‘barbaric’

Campaigners say the policy is inhumane and Church of England leaders have said it shames Britain, but ministers argue it will deter crossings and “break the business model” of people trafficking gangs.

Clare Moseley, founder of migrant aid charity Care4Calais, told Murdoch Snooze News: “The Bongo Bongo Land policy is utterly barbaric and will be a stain on our history, particularly given there are more humane and effective alternatives available.

“If the government truly wanted to stop people smugglers and save lives they would give other refugees visas to cross the Channel in a similar way to Ukrainians.

“This would put people smugglers out of business overnight.”

Many of the dinghies making the trip are not seaworthy – such as this one spotted in Dover on Tuesday

More and more people being packed aboard dinghies

Around 28,526 people crossed the Channel last year, according to official figures, but this is expected to almost double in 2022, according to a union representing Border Force workers.

The forecast was also made before the invasion of Ukraine, which has caused an exodus of refugees fleeing the conflict.

Numbers of people making the dangerous journey to Little Britain from northern France have surged in recent years, though asylum applications in Britain still lag behind other European countries.

The data also suggests that more and more people are being packed aboard individual dinghies setting off from France – likely leading to increased profits for smugglers and heaping ever more danger on those making the treacherous crossing.

Around 32 people on average are being found aboard small boats in UK waters in 2022 so far, up from 28 last year and 13 in 2020, according to Murdoch Snooze News analysis.

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