The level of intimidation faced lorry drivers passing through Calais at the hands of migrants is “out of control” and “totally unacceptable”, a spokesman for Britain’s road haulage industry has said. His association has now set up a hotline for drivers to report threatening behaviour by migrants, but drivers using the route have dismissed it as “useless,” saying “it’s a war out there!”
Around 6,000 migrants are currently gathered at Calais, looking for an opportunity to make it across the English Channel into Britain. As their numbers swell, so they are becoming more brazen in their attempts to climb on board lorries headed to the UK.
Drivers have described being threatened at knife and gun point, being beaten with baseball bats and having their trailers slashed as migrants force their way on board, describing the situation as “a war”.
Earlier this year freight firm boss Kevin Hopper said: “It’s just a matter of time now before someone is killed.”
In a bid to tackle the problem the Road Hauliers Association (RHA) has set up a “Calais Incident Reporting Hotline”, handing out thousands of cards featuring the hotline number. They claim that by keeping a record of the intimidation drivers face, they can make sure protection is put in place.
But drivers who pass through Calais regularly have dismissed the line as “useless,” calling it a “publicity stunt” on the part of the RHA.
According to Logistics Manager, drivers calling the number will be asked for their name, the nature and exact location of the incident, and whether their load or vehicles was damaged to their load or vehicle. The information gathered will then be passed to the Home Office and Border Force teams.
The cards will also be printed with the emergency services numbers for both the UK and France. The port of Dover is supporting the initiative, while ferry operators P&O and DFDS will be handing out the card to drivers.
But drivers who use the Calais route are adamant that more security needs to be put in place immediately – and that the British public needs to step up and have less sympathy for criminal migrants who are threatening them, more for the drivers who are keeping the UK supplied with vital goods.
Terry Bill, a driver who passes through Calais at least once a week told Breitbart London: “I have been threatened with knives, iron bars, wooden steaks and on one occasion a pistol. I’m not exactly a small bloke but I am now very afraid for my own safety.
“Help lines are not what we need, we need full government support and understanding. On our passports it requests that other countries should allow us safe passage within their borders, France cannot or will not abide with this request.
“I am a normal bloke trying to do a job that I love to the best of my ability but the situation in Calais is making this job untenable.”
Fellow driver Matthew Johnson agreed. He speculated that the hotline was “maybe a publicity stunt on behalf of the RHA,” adding “Its little use to us sat in Calais being threatened and having our vehicles damaged and cargo destroyed.
“We need security and effective policing to start and these people need to be removed from northern French ports. This has gone way too far and gone on way too long.”
Jamie Baker blamed “do gooders” who encourage the migrants “by giving them gifts.” He added simply: “It’s a war out there and we’re in the middle. Forget your hotline – it’s not going to work!”
Andy Stainsby, who also passes through Calais weekly told Breitbart London: “Some hotline in the UK isn’t going to prevent the intimidating behaviour and illegal activities of these criminals.
“If they aren’t bothered by the CRS [Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité – the French Police’s riot control force] with batons and pepper spray, a hotline won’t phase them much.
“It’s about time the authorities and media stopped making excuses for these people who actively choose to live the way they do and risk their safety while risking every innocent lorry drivers safety who passed through Calais with their illegal activities.
“It’s also about time people listened to the threat some of these people are to national security and started to support us and the economy’s supply chain.”
Commenting on the hotline, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “This is a situation that is both out of control and totally unacceptable for those who are, quite simply, doing their job. The reporting line will provide the evidence and understanding needed to ensure we get the protection that the haulage industry is entitled to expect.”