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Smuggling gangs offer a 'Christmas discount' to migrants wanting to cross Channel


People smuggling gangs are offering a 'Christmas discount' to migrants wanting to cross the Channel to Britain illegally for as little as £300 a head.

Intelligence reports suggest average costs for migrants are around £500 to £1,000, with some gangs offering deals for as little as £300, it is understood.

In September the average price was around £2,700 a head and at the beginning of the year just over £4,000. 

It means illegal crossings are now available for less than a tenth of what they cost in January.

In previous years, some of the largest numbers of arrivals on a single day have come on Christmas and Boxing Day, when there have been fewer officers on duty.

So far this year nearly 9,000 migrants have reached Britain from France, compared with 1,850 during the whole of 2019.

The asylum system is costing taxpayers nearly £1billion a year, with costs doubling in just five years, figures published in September revealed.