BBC Analysis Suggests Weather Influenced Drop in Migrant Channel Crossings

A recent analysis of migrant Channel crossings indicates that bad weather played a significant role in the reduced number of crossings in 2023. Data obtained through Freedom of Information requests reveal that the number of days with poor weather conditions increased by 50%, which likely deterred crossings. However, experts like Peter Walsh from the University of Oxford assert that while weather is a factor, it is not the sole reason for the decrease. Current trends in 2024 show an uptick in the number of people crossing, suggesting a more complex situation than previously presented by the Home Secretary.

  • The number of people crossing the English Channel in small boats decreased by a third in the previous year.
  • Home Secretary James Cleverly dismissed weather as the cause of the decrease in migrant crossings, attributing it to the efforts of officials.
  • Data obtained from the Home Office via Freedom of Information requests shows an increase in days with adverse weather conditions in 2023 by 50% compared to the previous year.
  • Experts acknowledge that weather is a significant, but not exclusive, factor influencing the feasibility of Channel crossings.
  • So far in 2024, there has been an increase in Channel crossings compared to the same period last year.
  • The 2024 figures resemble those from 2022, which saw a record high in migrant crossings.
  • The full analysis and figures related to this issue are available on the BBC website.

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