Ministers attribute drop to concerted effort of UK, French authorities
22nd September 2010: Even though French police action of bulldozing a fetid forest camp near Calais was initially dubbed “publicity stunt”, it has now emerged that there has been an 80 per cent drop in UK-bound immigrants at Calais.
The French Police last year had detained illegal immigrants who had hoped to slip across the English Channel into Britain.
In fact, the operation, which took place in September last year, saw the refugees, teens included, in jeans and sweatshirts being led away in single lines by the police.
Some refugees even cried as the police loaded them on to buses. They insisted they wanted to stay in the camp, while voicing apprehensions about being returned to Afghanistan, other places.
But it now seems that the prolonged battle to stop illegal immigrants reaching the UK is finally taking a turn in Britain’s favour.
Home Office figures reveal the number of UK-bound immigrants caught by border patrols in Calais has registered a dip by 80 per cent in the last year.
The figures obtained by Sky News, rather, show that 24,201 were caught trying to cross the channel illegally from Calais between October 2008 and September 2009. A year since the crackdown began the number has gone down to 5,369.
The ministers are attributing the drop to concerted effort of the UK and French authorities to stop illegal immigration through the port.
According to the UN High Commission for Refugees, the pressure exerted by the authorities has resulted in many migrants giving up their attempts to get into the UK.
Welcoming the decrease in the number of migrants and arrests, Immigration Minister Damian Green said he was not complacent, and they must maintain stringent border checks. Green added he was committed to continuing to work with the French Government to build on this success.