THE NUMBER of illegal migrants picked up trying to cross the Channel in May is now higher than the figure for December, when a “major incident” was declared,and appears set to continue increasing, it has been officially revealed.
Eight men were intercepted in a small boat at about 06:20 BST, bringing the total for May so far to 140.
In December, during mild weather,138 migrants attempted the journey and Home Secretary Sajid Javid set out a plan for dealing with the problem.
At least 642 migrants have now crossed the Channel since 3 November.
The Home Office said: “Those in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach.”
It added that since January “more than 30 people who arrived illegally in the UK in small boats have been returned to Europe”.
The crossings are very dependent on the weather. The end of last year was unseasonably mild leading to a spike in attempts to get to the UK.
The start of this year saw numbers fall again, as the weather worsened.
However, with summer approaching the sea is calm and the temperature is rising, so the Home Office is braced for more boats in the coming weeks.
Of the eight men found in waters off the Kent coast earlier, seven presented themselves as Iranian and one was an Afghan national.