The French government has announced plans to install a checkpoint at the entrance to the Jungle migrant camp in Calais in an effort to track who is arriving at and leaving the camp. The checkpoint is part of a package of measures which aims to quell disquiet in the town.
Yesterday the French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve met with the Mayor of Calais, Natascha Bouchart, and the President of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region, Xavier Bertrand to discuss measures to regain control of the situation in Calais, Nord Littoral has reported.
Although local politicians have been lobbying the government for months to do something about the escalating problems in Calais caused by The Jungle, the meeting appears to have been prompted by a large left-wing demonstration which took place almost two weeks ago, and which produced scenes of chaos as local people were attacked outside their homes and a British-bound ferry was stormed.
Consequently, Mr Cazeneuve has proposed a series of measures, including an outright ban on all marches and demonstrations in the town, and a new security gate at the entrance to The Jungle to better document everyone who enters and leaves. The aim is to rid the camp of undesirable elements such as people traffickers who tout for business there.
He has also ordered that “anyone who is arrested and who has not applied for asylum in France be immediately deported.” At the same time, he wants to encourage any migrants in The Jungle eligible for asylum to lodge a claim in France, rather than attempt to continue to the UK.
According to the minister some 2,375 people have already moved from the camp into migrant centres since last autumn, of which 80 percent have applied for asylum in France.
Meanwhile the president and vice-president of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region have again called for the government to dispatch the French army to Calais, in order to “accompany” members of the French riot police forces (CRD) so that “they can fulfil their mission”.
Over the last few weeks the CRS has levelled a 100m strip between The Jungle and the port bypass road, fortifying the strip with 10ft high dirt and rubble mounds and razor wire. Activists in the region have described the scene as “reminiscent of World War I trench warfare.”
In a statement, the president and vice-president said “It is necessary that those who attack the police and the port understand that there is zero impunity,” and called for “harsh sentencing” of those who broke the law, France 3 has reported.
“All those who engaged in activities contrary to public order and safety must be punished commensurately”, they said, adding that dismantling the camp outside Calais port was “the only way to return to normal.”