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Channel migrants: Crossings top 10,000 so far this year

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Bob Dale,BBC News, South East

PA Media Migrants being disembarked at Dover on 19 MayPA Media

More than 10,000 people have now crossed the English Channel in small boats in 2024

More than 10,000 people have crossed the English Channel in small boats in 2024.

The figure of 10,170 was reached after the Home Office confirmed 288 people made the crossing in five small boats on Friday.

In 2023, the figure of 10,000 was reached on 17 June.

The Home Office said the statistics show why it is important to get its Rwanda policy off the ground.

PA Media Migrants arriving at the Port of Dover on 19 MayPA Media

The government says the continuing number of arrivals illustrates the importance of getting its Rwanda plan operational

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The unacceptable number of people who continue to cross the Channel demonstrates exactly why we must get flights to Rwanda off the ground as soon as possible.

“We continue to work closely with French police who are facing increasing violence and disruption on their beaches as they work tirelessly to prevent these dangerous, illegal and unnecessary journeys. Last year they stopped 26,000 people from reaching our shores.”

The English Channel is one of the most dangerous and busiest shipping lanes in the world.

Many migrants come from some of the poorest and most chaotic parts of the world, and many ask to claim asylum once they are picked up by the UK authorities.

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