The number is highest in five years 21st May 2009: The number of asylum seekers arriving in the UK is the highest in five years.
Statistics reveal a 27 per cent leap in the first three months of the year has pushed the total to 8,380. If you include the family, the number comes out to be 10,285.
There was also an increase of more than 50 per cent in the numbers granted citizenship – 54,615 in the first three months of the year.
The number of failed asylum seekers deported too has registered a drop by seven per cent, to 2,805.
The statistics also show the United Kingdom continues to receive fewer asylum applications per head of the population than many of its European counterparts. Until recently, in terms of the number of asylum seekers in relation to its population, the UK ranked only 10th in Europe and 8th in the European Union, with most of the smaller countries of Europe receiving proportionally more asylum claims.
The number of initial decisions made on asylum applications was up 16 per cent from 4,435 in the first three months of 2008 to 5,145 in the same period this year.
Asylum intake has remained broadly at the same level over the past four years; and is less than a third of the level when it peaked in 2002. At the end of December the Home Office met its target to conclude 60 per cent of new asylum cases within six months.
The UK and Germany have fairly high number of applications for asylum than any other country in Europe in terms of numbers. Those largely seeking asylum are from Iraq, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Somalia and China. Some of these countries do not enjoy a sound human rights record. Other countries of origin of substantial numbers of asylum seekers include Sri Lanka, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Asylum seekers are believed to be victims of crime and injustice, including racism. Some people who enter the country illegally come in the hope of getting work in the unregulated economy, and only claim asylum when they are discovered.
Some others overstay on a visitor’s visa, give false information in order to gain permission to enter the UK, or are in possession of false documents and only claim asylum once their misdemeanours have been discovered.
Some groups of asylum seekers come from societies where there are high levels of violent crime and, in some cases, a tradition of blood feuds. Some come to claim asylum in the UK and other European countries to escape this culture and victimisation.
There is also evidence some people enter the UK illegally in order to exploit it. To make the matters worse, some individuals who come to the UK to seek asylum or to work in the unregulated economy have involvement with people smugglers or people traffickers.