Number of illegal migrants trying to sneak into UK ports QUADRUPLES since 2013
THE number of illegal migrants found trying to sneak into UK ports has quadrupled in four years, it has been revealed. In 2013, 204 migrants were found at UK ports attempting to reach Britain, with the figure rocketing to 835 in 2017, BBC South East Today reports.
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It is feared migrants and people-smuggling gangs are targeting smaller ports as they try to reach England following the closure of the 'Calais Jungle' migrant camp in 2016.
Border officials say there were more than 56,000 attempts to reach Kent from France in 2016, more than 150 a day, according to the figures obtained by the BBC.
Footage shows groups of migrants at French ports sprinting towards moving UK-bound lorries and scrambling onboard as they try to cross the Channel.
Dover & Deal MP Charlie Elphicke said: "The focus has been very much on larger ports like Dover and Calais.
"But there does need to be a new focus on smaller ports like Portsmouth and Newhaven.
"It's really important we invest in more border officers at these ports and at small airstrips to ensure that our borders are as safe and secure as they can be."
Hundreds of men at the French fishing village of Ouistreham wait hoping to smuggle themselves into England, with one Sudanese migrant named Tyga saying he tries 'every night'.
Tyga said: "Every night. You must try every night. In a day I will get in a car three times.
Number of illegal migrants found trying to sneak into UK ports has quadrupled in four years. (Image: GETTY)
"They always say to me try and come here to England. That is a good country. You can make a good future for yourself."
Following the destruction of the Calais camp in October 2016, which housed around 7,000 migrants, gangs of people-smugglers have been profiting massively from migrants attempting to enter the UK illegally.
It is believed there are only around 700 migrants living now in northern France.
Many migrants are now trying their luck at smaller ports across France and Kent, it is believed.
Clare Moseley, founder of Care4Calais said: "We are not dealing with this situation very well. It is the biggest crisis of our generation.
"If we had ways for people to be assessed, if we had ways for people to get to where they had a legal right to be reunited with their family then normal citizens wouldn't have to deal with this.
"The lorry drivers wouldn't have to deal with it." Earlier this month, a jet ski cross-Channel people-smuggling gang was convicted at the Old Bailey for trying to bring Albanian migrants into England.
At least 18 people were brought from Calais to Dymchurch, Kent, in overcrowded rigid-hulled inflatable boats.
When the vessels ran out of fuel the gang of British and Albanian men decided to use a three-person jet ski.
On one crossing attempt in 2016, the gang ran out fuel and migrants were forced to bail out the leaking boat before they were rescued off the Kent coast.
In June, a Romanian people smuggler was jailed at Canterbury Crown Court after being found with a Vietnamese boy hidden in a suitcase in his car boot.