- Border officials stopped 84,088 at the British border last year
- Alarming rate of detections has more than doubled since previous year
- Ex-Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith said the figures are 'truly shocking'
- Home Secretary Theresa May admits the problem 'shows no sign of easing'
Migrants are trying to sneak into Britain at a rate of one every six minutes, it was revealed today.
Official figures showed border officials stopped 84,088 at the British border last year – the equivalent of 230 a day or nearly 10 every hour.
The alarming rate of detections has more than doubled compared to the previous year and were described as 'truly shocking' by former Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith.
Migrants are trying to sneak into Britain at a rate of one every six minutes - many stowed away in the back of a lorry, such as above, where UK border officials discover a man hiding behind boxes in the back of a trailer at Calais Ferry Port in France
There were 9,946 illegal attempts at entering the UK in the first three months of this year.
The figures – released under a freedom of information request to the Daily Express – do not include the estimated tens of thousands of migrants who have entered Britain illegally.
With less than two weeks before the June 23 EU referendum, today's figures were used by the Brexit campaign to back-up their argument that leaving the EU will give authorities greater control over Britain's borders.
Steven Woolfe, Ukip MEP and the party's immigration spokesman, said: 'The failure of the EU to control its external borders has seen tens of thousands of illegal migrants attempt to gain access to Britain.'
Alarmingly, Home Secretary Theresa May warned the sheer number of migrants trying to come into Britain 'shows no sign of easing'.
She said: 'The situation in northern France is a symptom of a wider international crisis, a crisis that shows no sign of easing in the short term.
'So it is important we redouble our joint efforts to protect our border, move migrants in the region into more suitable facilities in France, and return those not in need of protection to their home countries.
'The Government has already invested tens of millions of pounds to bolster security at the ports in northern France, and the UK and French governments have been working at pace to implement actions agreed in the joint declaration last August.
'Security at the Calais port and around the Eurotunnel site has improved significantly as a result.'
Responding to today's figures, which were released after weeks of delay, Mr Duncan Smith told the Daily Express:
'These shocking figures show our ability to secure our own borders is collapsing. This is a direct consequence of the EU's obsession with freedom of movement and insistence on an open border policy.
'Migration is soaring and the EU has comprehensively failed to deal with the crisis. This now threatens the UK's security.'
The figures show the number of clandestine entries into the UK is rising at an ever-greater scale.
Earlier this year the impact of the migration crisis on Britain last summer was revealed, with figures showing 13,000 migrants tried to enter Britain illegally in July alone.
Earlier this year the impact of the migration crisis on Britain last summer was revealed, with figures showing 13,000 migrants tried to enter Britain illegally in July alone - a huge rise on previous years
This was a staggering 1,300 per cent rise from 2012, when the number of people who were caught by UK authorities trying to enter Britain illegally by hiding in lorries, walking through the Channel Tunnel or arriving without visas at ports and airports stood at around 1,000 a month.
In 2013 this monthly figure doubled to 2,000 and in 2014 it doubled again to 4,000, according to figures released by the Home Office.
The sharp rise, uncovered in a Freedom of Information of request by the Economist, has been caused by the worsening conflict in Syria, which has seen more than 4 million refugees flee the country since the civil war erupted five years ago.
But the increase in the number of people detected trying to enter the UK is also down to the fact that the attempts at entering Britain are becoming increasingly tenacious.
Franck Duvell, an immigration expert from Oxford University, said most migrants camped in northern France are now prepared to try 11 or 12 times to get to the UK - up from five or six times in 2014.
The rise in the number of illegal entry attempts detected is also caused by a significant tightening in checks of vehicles arriving from across the Channel.
Lorries are X-rayed to check for stowaways, carbon-dioxide sensors are used to detec human activity while sniffer dogs are deployed to patrol ports.
The most common nationality of those caught trying to enter Britain are Syrians, Eritreans, Sudanese and Iraqis, many of whom have family in Britain.