Recent events in Afghanistan, as well as the improved way in which we are thwarting attempts by road, all increase pressure on the sea route
The figures of the past few weeks are undoubtedly, as you point out, less satisfactory, but you will have noted that, since the beginning of the year, the rate at which small boat crossings are thwarted stands at 57.3%, i.e. a higher level than that recorded over the same period in 2020.
While there is an increase in the number of migrants landing in the UK, it is mainly due to a new strategy by people smugglers of using larger boats which can now hold up to 65 people, in place of the makeshift boats each carrying around 15 people between 2019 and 2020. These groups of migrants are made up of particularly vulnerable people (infants, young children and elderly or disabled people), which limits our means of action, in addition to the fact that the migrants’ behaviour is increasingly violent.
Added to these well-known difficulties are new diversionary tactics which consist in launching a large number of small boats, known as “decoy boats”, in order to overwhelm intervention capabilities and make it even trickier for our forces to intervene. And the tragedy of 11 August shows how extremely careful we must be when it comes to interceptions at sea.