Lorry drivers using the Calais route “work in fear,” and are facing a “living nightmare”, a representative for the haulage industry has said. His organisation, the Road Haulage Association (RHA), has called upon the government to put more pressure on the French to step up security at Calais, amidst fears that a driver will be killed.
Violent intimidation of lorry drivers by migrants at Calais is not a new problem; there have been reports of knife wielding and threatening behaviour for well over a year. But in the last quarter of this year, as the migrant camp outside Calais grew to an unprecedented 6,000 people, drivers using the route regularly have noticed a marked increase in the threat level. They say that the inflated numbers are causing migrants to be bolder in their demands, more brazen in their attempts to climb on board vehicles and stow away into Britain.
Last month, Breitbart London reported on the case of a Czech driver who narrowly avoided death when a long wooden stake was hurled through his window. Twelve migrants then mobbed his cab. He shook them off, but police at the port were unwilling to do anything, reasoning that he had not been hurt.
Other British drivers have told us that the port is “a war zone”, and that the migrants “all have knives.”
RHA chief executive Richard Burnett has recently returned from three days in Calais, where he witnessed for himself the threat posed to hauliers passing through the port, according to Business Reporter.
“HGV drivers now work in fear as the migrants become much more aggressive, they are totally fearless.”
Drivers were facing a “living nightmare” just trying to work safely, he said.
“The desperation of these people has now reached a point whereby they will stop at nothing to cross the Channel by truck with no thought for anyone, certainly not for HGV drivers who are their target.”
“The UK Government and French authorities cannot stand back and wait until a driver is killed before strong, effective action is taken.
Migrants’ Rights Network (MRN) suggested that the pressure on hauliers could be eased by suspending the fines they face if migrants are found in their vehicles. Drivers are expected to clear any illicit passengers out, but are understandably unwilling to go up against potentially armed and desperate groups of people.
A spokesman for the MRN said: “The number of people that have been gathering at Calais has increased.
“Security has increased and people feel that in order to stand even the remotest chance of getting across they have to come up with ever more ingenious ways to do it.
“It’s all highly regrettable and Migrants’ Rights Network would not condone violence in any way, but in terms of an immediate remedy we say that drivers should no longer be expected to act as unpaid immigration officers.
“They should be absolved of any blame when it comes to inadvertently transporting people across.”