Children with toys carried to safety as migrant crossings hit 10,000

Crossings resumed after a three-day hiatus, with the latest arrivals pushing the total for the year to date above 10,000.

07 June 2022

Children clutching teddy bears were seen being carried ashore as the number of migrants who have crossed the Channel to the UK so far this year hit 10,000.

A young girl in a woollen hat with a toy tucked into her life jacket, as well as a baby sucking a dummy and holding on to a teddy, were among several children among a large group arriving in Dover, Kent, on Tuesday.

Crossings resumed after a three-day hiatus, with the latest arrivals pushing the total for the year to date over 10,000.

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
Children were among a large number of people seen arriving in Dover on Tuesday (Gareth Fuller/PA)

As it stands, 9,988 people have reached the UK after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats such as dinghies since the start of 2022, according to analysis of provisional Government figures by the PA news agency.

Pictures of Tuesday’s arrivals taken by PA show the number has now exceeded 10,000.

The total for the day, as well as the total for the year to date, will not be confirmed until Wednesday when the Ministry of Defence is expected to publish the latest official data.

Downing Street has insisted that “significant numbers” of Channel crossings are being stopped because of joint working with the French authorities.

“We are working closely with French partners on stopping crossings,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.

“There are significant numbers of crossings being stopped on a regular basis because of that partnership.”

Asked whether the plan to send migrants who risk the crossing on a one-way trip to Rwanda is acting as a deterrent, the spokesman said: “The first flights are expected to take place on June 14.

“To be clear, the deterrence was never meant to be the announcement of the plan; it was meant to be to have the plan up and running, the new migration and economic development partnership.

“Now that’s not fully established yet, so we will need to wait until that point to fully understand the deterrent effect it has.”

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, on board a Border Force vessel (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The crossings come as the Home Office said 15 foreign offenders convicted of crimes including rape and firearms offences were removed from the UK on a deportation flight to Lithuania.

The highest daily migrants total for 2022 to date was recorded on April 13 when 651 people made the crossing in 18 boats.

A record 1,185 people made the crossing to the UK on November 11 2021 – the highest recorded since the start of 2020.

Some 28,526 people made the crossing in 2021, compared with 8,466 in 2020, 1,843 in 2019 and 299 in 2018, official Home Office figures show.

Despite the increasing numbers, the UK’s small boat arrivals are a fraction of the number of people going to Europe.

Data from the UN Refugee Agency shows at least 120,441 people arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean by land and sea in 2021.

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