A British lorry driver has claimed that his colleagues have been stabbed and beaten by “intimidating” migrants as they pass through the French port of Calais. His testimony is the latest in a long line of warnings from drivers who are fearful that someone will be killed by the mobs of migrants prowling around the port town.
Tommy Harrison said that conditions in the port had reached a crisis point two years ago. Now he’s seeing a further escalation in matters as the migrants, determined to make their way into the UK, grow more belligerent, the Express has reported.
“Drivers are being stabbed,” he said. “I had a friend who suffered a cracked rib and broken eye socket as a result of being attacked.”
He added that despite the risks, many drivers feel they have no choice but to carry on in their jobs as they have families to support and mortgages to service.
A video posted to YouTube by a Bulgarian truck driver just two days ago shows hundreds of migrants lining the roads into Calais waiting for an opportunity to jump aboard the lorries passing by. As soon as the traffic slows, both men and women swarm the vehicles to bust open the doors and climb aboard.
“It’s quite intimidating,” said Harrison, “particularly when you’re faced with 10 to 15 of them. On Monday, they created their own roadblock, so truckers had to stop, then suddenly they found themselves surrounded by 150 migrants.”
This isn’t the first time that drivers, who face big fines if they are caught with illegal stowaways aboard, have reported being attacked by the migrants. Last July British driver Ben Irwin warned “it won’t be long before someone gets killed” after he was attacked by migrants outside the port.
Mr Irwin, a courier driver from Derby, used his vehicle to try to stop migrants clambering aboard the lorry in front of him. For his troubles, he was rounded on by the migrants.
“There were around 300 immigrants crowding around the lorries, trying to get in,” he said. “When I refused to back up, they became very aggressive and started battering and pushing my vehicle to try and get in.
“I couldn’t believe it. It’s so dangerous. It was terrifying.
“Lorry drivers live in fear of this happening. I’ve heard of drivers being beaten half to death after trying to stop immigrants from entering their vehicles.
“It won’t be long before someone gets killed.”
In May of this year, drivers working for the Maru International haulage company declared that they are boycotting Calais, as they too are fearful that someone will be killed.
The Daily Mail reported how Michael Pearson, a driver for the Yorkshire-based company, feared for his life when a mob broke into a truck. He said:
“A group of maybe 20 or 30 people, crowbar in hand, broke the padlock off the truck in front, broke the security seal and opened the doors.
“If I think about it now, I’m in fear of my life and I’m not by myself on this, several of my colleagues also spoke about that. Their attitude, their whole goal is just to get to the UK irrespective of what damage, or damage to persons, vehicles, property they cause, it doesn’t matter.
“They were raising fists, there was a bloke with an iron bar because I was blowing the horn to alert the driver in front that they were getting into his trailer. That’s the bit they don’t like, blowing your horn. I was terrified because I’m on my own and if you get out – you can’t get out – because your life’s in danger.
“It’s only a matter of time before somebody is seriously injured, killed or windows are smashed and people are dragged out of their trucks. It’s an unbelievable experience to go through.”
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