Boat Migrants: Just 82 People Smugglers Charged Last Year
Despite thousands of boats bringing illegal migrants onto the shores of England, the government only managed to charge 82 suspected people smugglers last year.
According to a freedom of information request, a total of 121 people were arrested last year in connection with the people smuggling trade which saw a record 45,755 illegal migrants cross the English Channel from the beaches of France.
Out of these 121, just 82 were actually charged with a crime.
This is despite the government introducing harsher sentencing last year for those people smugglers who pilot small boats across the Channel, with the Nationality and Borders Act making such an offence punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
The revelation comes as the House of Commons backed the third reading of the Illegal Immigration Bill, which, among other measures, would permit the government to immediately remove illegal migrants to a third country, such as Rwanda, to have their asylum claims processed offshore rather than allowing them to stay in Britain during the interim.
In addition, the government is planning on introducing medical age checks for those migrants who claim to be children, a common tactic deployed in order to increase the odds of being allowed to remain in the country.
So far this year, over 5,000 illegals have made the journey across the English Channel from France. While this is slightly down from the record numbers seen last year, it is unclear if this was a result of government action or merely a function of the weather.