Nearly four times as many migrants crossed the Channel last week than during the same seven days last year.
A total of 1,959 people crossed the Channel from France in the week to September 10 – the highest total for any seven-day period since migrants starting using small boats for the crossing. That compares with just over 500 for the same seven-day period last year.
With at least 50 more crossings on Monday, which included young children, it means the total for September has already exceeded 2,000, more than the entire month of September in 2020.
It follows more than 3,000 in each of the months of July and August, bringing the total for the year to nearly 14,500, compared with 8,400 for the whole of 2020.
The figures follow last week’s war of words between English and French ministers after it emerged Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, had sanctioned tactics to push back migrants’ boats to stop them making the journey and force the French border force vessels to return them to France.
On Monday, Sky News broadcast footage of Border Force officers on three jet skis apparently training for the tactics, which are to be deployed once exercises to hone the strategy are completed at the end of this month.