Migrant crossings in January down on previous year

The number so far for 2023 is still much higher than those recorded for the first month of the year between 2018 and 2021.

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
Migrant Channel crossing incidents

Fewer migrants crossed the Channel in January compared to the first month of 2022, but the number is still far greater than previous years.

A total of 1,180 migrants have arrived in the UK so far in 2023, according to Government figures.

This is 159 fewer than the 1,339 recorded in January a year earlier.

POLITICS Migrants
(PA Graphics)

But the latest figure is much higher compared to the previous four years. Seven people were recorded making the journey in January 2018; 45 in 2019; 94 in 2020 and 224 in 2021.

Government officials previously suggested any drop in crossings over the winter could be seasonal and linked to weather conditions, with numbers expected to rise again in the spring.

The Home Office published the latest figures after resuming responsibility for operations in the Channel to tackle migrant crossings.

The new Small Boats Operational Command (SBOC) takes over from the Royal Navy, which had been leading operations for eight months.

Military and civilian staff will work with the National Crime Agency under the SBOC as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s promise to “grip illegal migration”.

He vowed to pass new laws to “stop the boats” as one of his five pledges for the year ahead.

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