French antirot police (CRS) evacuate a migrant from a Romanian truck on its way to England in the French northern harbour of Calais Photo: AFP
…Around 38,000 illegal immigrants, a hundred a day, were caught trying to enter Britain last year, four times the number at the start of the decade. But even that is now starting to look small by comparison with 2015.
At just one port, Calais, French police say they have already prevented 18,170 clandestine attempts to reach the UK, with half the year to go.
The number who don’t get caught has more than doubled, from 150 to 350 a week coming through the south coast ports alone, diplomatic sources say. As the migrant tide swells – with over 200,000 expected to cross from Libya to Italy this year, many of them heading here – people-smuggling is becoming an established part of the professional criminal landscape.
Most cases coming before the British, French and Belgian courts involve the alleged small fry on the front lines, with only frustrating glimpses of the “Mr Bigs” running things from behind the scenes. Many defendants are members of Britain’s ethnic communities, accused of working with would-be migrants of their own diaspora…