The number of people arriving in the UK via illegal Channel crossing is on course to reach at least 7,500 in 2020 should they continue at the rate seen since January and in the absence of effective measures to stop them.
The number of crossings in the year so far – 2,400 – is four times the 600 or so that came during the first six months of 2019.
If that trend continues to the end of 2020, this would mean that the total arriving during the year would be four times the total of nearly 1,900 who arrived in 2019, or nearly 7,600. That said there may be other factors, including action by the French, which lower the total.
The figures in the table and graphs below cover only those detected. The total number of migrants who have entered the UK by deliberately evading UK border controls is of course not known but is bound to make the actual number even higher.
A look at the pattern of arrivals by month suggests that the bulk of arrivals last year occur during the months of Summer and Autumn, when the sea is calmer and temperatures warmer.
This pattern saw 70% of detected arrivals in 2019 in the second half of the year, and this was even more marked in 2018.
If such a pattern holds true, it could mean over 5,000 more people arriving via this route between now and Christmas – an average of more than 800 per month.
The table below shows the estimated numbers of people who have successfully crossed the Channel since the start of 2018. Data depicted in the graphs are derived from a combination of media reports and Home Office data.
Table 1: Detected arrivals by illegal Channel crossing by month since 2018.
Figure 1: Detected arrivals broken down by month, 2018 to Jan-Jun 2020.
Figure 2: Detected arrivals by Channel crossing in small boats, 2018 to Jan-Jun 2020.