Migrants Made Up to 100 Attempts a Day to Enter UK Illegally this Summer


Data from the Home Office show that this summer migrants made up to 100 bids a day to enter the UK illegally. UK Border Force staff and their French counterparts recorded 11,920 attempts to enter Britain between April and July. The figures were released under a Freedom of Information request from the group Migration Watch.
This number does not indicate, however, that 100 migrants a day made an attempt: there are suggestions that it is more likely a smaller, determined group repeatedly tried to enter.
The roads to the port of Calais were packed with asylum seekers lining the kerbs and the sidings, as our investigation revealed. Gangs of men and some women, mainly from Eritrea or Middle Eastern countries torn apart by conflict make up the largest numbers.
The data shows a steep increase in the number of times illegal immigrants were detected: back in 2010 10,916 were detected over the course of the whole year.
French authorities said about 2,500 migrants are camped in Calais, France, wanting to try to travel to the UK.
In an interview with the BBC’s Today programme the UK’s chief inspector of borders, John Vine, said more resources were needed to deal with the huge numbers at French ports.
“We found that people found in lorries were being released to the French authorities but no record was being kept of who they were.
“And of course when they try again and very often succeed in getting into the UK as irregular migrants, the authorities in Britain have no record of who they are.”
Immigration and security minister James Brokenshire defended the government’s approach to migration, which is a key topic ahead of next year’s General Election.
He pointed out that the government had already set aside £12m to improve security as well as alerting lorry drivers and tourists using the main crossing points between Britain and France to be extra vigilant.
Mr Brokenshire said it was a key aim of the government to tighten Britain’s borders “to stop those who have no right to enter the UK”.
He said “significant investments” had been made in ports in Northern France to improve security and infrastructure but these have been slighted by the French police, who say they have no idea what to do with the metal fencing they were given by Britain and were considering moving the UK/France border back to Dover.
“Using some of the best technology in the world, our officers prevented more than 18,000 attempts to cross the Channel illegally in the year to April 2014 – a rise of more than 60 per cent on the previous year” Mr Brokenshire said.
“We have also committed £12 million to further bolstering security at Calais and driven down the cost of back-office functions, allowing us to invest more in front-line operations.”