More than 2,000 people using fake documents to get into UK every year


Meanwhile, more than 28,300 people took the dangerous journey across the Channel to the UK last year, triple the number for 2020 (Picture: PA)

More than 20,000 fake identity documents have been presented to Border Force staff in the past decade.

‘Deceptive’ documents range from fake passports and ID cards to mistakes on application forms, according to Migration Watch UK which campaigns for lower immigration.

Errors include failing to declare minor criminal convictions, including driving offences, and providing the wrong answers about previous refusals or immigration history.

A total of 21,256 false documents are said to have been discovered in total between 2010 to 2020.

Numbers peaked in 2014-2016, while the number in 2019 was the fourth highest with 2,134 such documents presented.

But there was a drop following Brexit and the Covid pandemic when traveller numbers plummeted amid harsh restrictions.

Prosecutions for false documents dropped from 1,200 in 2013 to just over 300 last year.

Meanwhile, more than 28,300 people crossed the Channel into the UK aboard small boats last year, triple the number for 2020.

The figures come as charities call for ministers to take action to stop smugglers putting people in danger.

A total of 21,256 fake ID documents were discovered in total between 2010 to 2020 (Picture: PA)
Charities are calling for ministers to open up more routes for refugees (Picture: PA)

Tragedy struck as three children, seven women and 17 men died trying to cross the English Channel in November.

Refugee Action chief executive Tim Naor Hilton said smugglers would continue to profit ‘unless ministers open up more routes for refugees to claim asylum here’.

Home Office minister Tom Pursglove said the government was reforming its approach to asylum through its New Plan for Immigration.

It comes after it was announced immigration rules will be relaxed for care workers, care assistants and home care workers amid a struggle to hire and keep staff since Brexit.

Migration Watch UK claims to document levels of migration and its consequences without a political agenda.

In a statement, the Home Office said those with false documents will be refused entry to the UK.

A spokesperson added: ‘We will be implementing an Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme — similar to the USA ESTA programme — to block the entry of those who present a threat to the UK.’

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