Home Office projects that 500 migrants will cross the Channel every month this year… despite latest crackdown
- Priti Patel agreed a £30 million deal with France to fund increased enforcement
- The Home Secretary will also announce tough new measures in coming weeks
- Home Office projections forecast an average of 500 migrants a month crossing
Ministers are braced for 500 migrants a month to cross the Channel from France this year, despite their latest crackdowns.
Priti Patel agreed a £30 million deal with France in November to fund increased enforcement around Calais, which was meant to make the route ‘unviable’ for people smugglers.
The Home Secretary will also announce tough new measures in the coming weeks to make it easier to remove illegal migrants and to deter the criminal gangs who exploit them, including the introduction of life sentences for the worst offenders.
Home Office projections seen by the Mail forecast that an average of 500 migrants a month will successfully make the crossing this year
France succeeded in stopping 70 per cent of attempted crossing in January, but this fell to just over 50 per cent last month
And the Home Office is funding adverts on Facebook groups used by migrants, warning that they risk drowning if they try to cross the Channel illegally.
One image shows a group of men with luggage at sea, accompanied by the message: ‘You could pay with your life.’
But Whitehall sources concede the measures will not be enough to close off the illegal route that has seen thousands of migrants make the perilous crossing.
Home Office projections seen by the Mail forecast that an average of 500 migrants a month will successfully make the crossing this year.
That suggests 6,000 migrants are expected to make the crossing in 2021 – lower than the record 8,417 last year, but far higher than the 1,890 in 2019.
Boris Johnson yesterday railed at the criminal gangs making fortunes from the cruel trade.
The Prime Minister said: ‘It is outrageous that the gangsters, the people smugglers, these thugs, are still putting people’s lives at risks.
What we are going to do is to absolutely, ruthlessly stiffen the sentences for anybody who is involved in this kind of people smuggling and trafficking human beings across the Channel.
That is why we are working with the French authorities and others to stop the trade.’
But a Whitehall source told the Mail there were limits to what the Government can do under existing laws.
France succeeded in stopping 70 per cent of attempted crossing in January, but this fell to just over 50 per cent last month.
Eighty-seven migrants made the crossing on Saturday, taking this year’s total to 531 – 40 per cent higher than last year.
An asylum seeker accused of assaulting a security guard at Napier Barracks is to face a jury trial. Mohammed Ali, 22, is alleged to have trapped the man’s arm between a door and a wall as tensions flared at the Home Office-run site in Kent in January.