FRESH ATTACKS ON TRUCKS AND DRIVERS IN CALAIS AS AUTHORITIES FEAR THE SUMMER WEATHER WILL SEE A NEW WAVE OF MIGRANTS
Britain’s Freight Transport Association (FTA) has called on the UK government and the French authorities to provide better protection for truck drivers passing through the Calais area, following a recent spate of violent attacks.
Incidents involving migrants trying to stop and board trucks heading for the port have reduced significantly since the closure of the so-called ‘Jungle’ camp last October and the dispersion of migrants around France. However, local reports in France have suggested that around 700 migrants have now returned to the area.
On Sunday 21 May, drivers reported rubbish bins were placed on the entry to the Port of Calais and vehicles were attacked with stones and pieces of wood as migrants attempted to stop lorries and create tail-backs to make it easier for them to board trucks travelling towards the port. A Czech driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries before police dispersed the migrants involved. The incident reportedly took place on an interchange between the A16 motorway and the Calais ring road.
Pauline Bastidon, Head of European Policy at the FTA, said: “The French and British governments need to work together to solve the migrant issue at Calais, both for the safety of our drivers and also for those migrants who have returned to the area. There is a need for urgent action by the French government to ensure that the area is policed adequately, and to protect drivers transporting goods, so that trade can continue to flow freely between France and the UK. Meanwhile, FTA urges members to take extra care when moving goods to and from the port areas, and to be extremely vigilant on the approach roads to Calais.”
In the latest attacks, two truck windscreens were smashed, while another lorry had its tyres punctured. The incidents are said to have taken place at around 0400 in the morning and were described by a police source as ‘extremely well-coordinated.’
With the warmer summer weather, the authorities in Calais as well as companies using the port now fear more migrants will start to arrive.