09 May 2024

Home Office stops publishing number of Channel crossings blocked

09 May 2024

The Government has stopped publishing the number of migrants prevented from crossing the Channel in small boats after less than a week following “consultation with the French”.

The Home Office began publishing the number of migrants who had been blocked from making the crossing over the weekend alongside its daily update on the number of those arriving in the UK.

But in a late update on Wednesday evening, the department said it had paused publishing the statistics on prevention “until further notice”.

The update said the Government would continue to publish daily statistics on arrivals and would “provide further updates on the publication of prevention data as soon as possible”.

Wednesday’s update showed another 116 people had arrived via small boats on the previous day, bringing the total number of arrivals for the year so far to 8,790.

This is up 34% on the same period last year, when 6,549 Channel crossings were recorded, and a 13% rise compared to the same period in 2022 (7,750), PA news agency analysis of the figures shows.

Prior to their removal from the Government’s website, prevention figures suggested 1,048 people had been stopped from crossing the Channel since April 29.

But the Home Office said the statistics were “estimates” and prone to “measurement error”.

The figures included people who were prevented from leaving France or returned to the country, but it was not clear whether they included repeat attempts by migrants to cross the Channel.

A Home Office spokesman said previously that the French had prevented 26,000 people making the crossing in 2023, adding that the UK continued 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”.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox