British truck drivers have asked for more protection around Calais following the first serious attacks by migrants since the notorious ‘Jungle’ camp was torn down six months ago.
A series of “extremely violent” incidents on Sunday showed that migrants wishing to break into Britain have been slowly returning to Calais, despite officially banned from the French port since the camp’s demolition.
“They set up roadblocks using dustbins, and then tried to stop lorries heading for England so they could get aboard,” a local police source told the Daily Mail, adding that the attacks took place just after 4 am and were “extremely well coordinated”.
Police were called to disperse crowds as migrant gangs smashed windscreens and punctured tyres in an attempt to force vehicles to allow them on board. One truck driver was hospitalised for injuries to his nose sustained in the commotion.
“As well as the road blocks, stones and pieces of wood were thrown at vehicles in an attempt to stop them, and to create tail backs which would enable them to get on to lorries.
“Most of those involved managed to run away by the time police turned up, so we do not know their identities or nationalities,” the police source said.
Britain’s Freight Transport Association (FTA) urged the Government to lobby French authorities to protect drivers in Calais.
Representing the association, Pauline Bastidon said: “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.”
David Sagnard, president of France’s National Federation of Road Transporters, echoed the FTA chief’s plea, commenting: “The state must do everything possible to avoid migrants setting up camps in Calais again, and then putting these roadblocks in place.”
A spokesman for the Pas de Calais prefecture confirmed the incidents, reporting Sunday’s events as the “first time” migrants had set up barriers in the road to stop lorries since the Jungle was dismantled in October.
Whilst on the campaign trail earlier this month, the now French President Emmanuel Macron promised to rip up the treaty which allows the UK to operate border controls in Calais, a move which would likely leave Britain open to a major migration wave.