Number of migrants attempting Channel crossing sees an increase in 2019
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    Number of migrants attempting Channel crossing sees an increase in 2019

    2019 has seen more than twice the number of migrants try to cross the Channel. Credit: Belga

    2019 has seen more than twice the number of migrants try to cross the Channel than attempted the route in the whole of 2018, according to a report by the Maritime Prefecture.

    Over the whole of 2018, 586 migrants tried to cross the strait in 78 attempts, according to figures from the Prefecture Maritime de la Manche et de la Mer du Nord transmitted to AFP on Monday.

    Since 1 January there have been 156 attempts, with 1,451 migrants intercepted, according to a report drawn up on Friday.

    The route poses several major risks to those looking to make the crossing, explained a spokesperson for the Maritime Prefecture. These include high boat traffic on the route, strong currents, cold water and zero visibility at night.

    The British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, is due to discuss the fight against these illegal crossings with her French counterpart Christophe Castaner “in the coming days”.

    Jules Johnston
    The Brussels Times