UK border police foil 56,000 crossing attempts by migrants

UK border police foil 56,000 crossing attempts by migrants
British authorities stopped up to 153 attempts made each day by people who want to reach the UK from France, a Freedom of Information request has found.
2 min read
24 August, 2017
Home Office says the drop in the number of attempts is a "success" [Getty]
Britain's border force foiled 56,000 attempts by migrants to reach its southern shores in 2016.

Authorities stopped up to 153 attempts every day over the same period, Home Office numbers showed.

The figures are the second highest in seven years, despite dropping by 25,000 compared to 2015.

The Home Office said the decrease was a "success", whereas a local parliamentarian called it "shocking".

A Home Office spokesman said the figures "make absolutely clear that our approach to securing the UK's border is working".

It added: "We will continue to work closely with our French counterparts to maintain border security and keep legitimate passengers and trade moving."

Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke believed the numbers were still too high, and said: "These figures underline the true scale of the challenge we face – and why we need more investment at our border."

"This is why we worked so hard to get the Calais Jungle dismantled."

The number of foiled attempts, received through a Freedom of Information request and reported by the BBC, included instances where the same people had repeatedly tried to gain entry on different days.

Some 7,000 people were cleared from a makeshift camp in Calais last autumn, with investment in infrastructure, fencing and CCTV helping to tighten border security.

Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch claimed French police officers are continuing to assault and abuse refugees and migrants in Calais without retribution, including routinely using pepper spray against migrants – even as they slept or posed no threat.