Home Office to Stop Publishing Daily Illegal Migrant Figures
Priti Patel’s Home Office has been accused of attempting to cover up the scale of the migrant crisis in the English Channel after plans to scrap the publication of daily boat migrant figures were leaked to The Daily Telegraph.
On Wednesday evening the broadsheet reported that the Home Office, under the direction of Home Secretary Priti Patel, is planning to release the number of illegal migrants who cross the English Channel on a quarterly basis rather than reporting the numbers in real-time as has been customary to now.
The move to release migrant figures every three months was revealed by the UK’s Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR), which told the paper: “We have urged the department to take account of user need for a more frequent publication.”
Last year, a record 28,400 illegal migrants crossed the Channel on small boats set off from the beaches of France, more than three times that seen in the year prior.
While January is typically a quiet month for people smuggling operations across the busy waterway due to wintery weather conditions, the furious pace of boat migrant crossings has only escalated, with nearly 1,000 migrants crossing since the start of the year, compared to 223 during the entire month last year.
The former head of the Border Force, Tony Smith also warned this week with travel restrictions being eased and trade beginning to return to pre-pandemic levels, the UK will likely see an increase in migrants attempting to break into the country through other means, saying that the “annual asylum intake [combined] could challenge the previous record of over 100,000 per year in 2002."