Britain’s Road Haulage Association has warned that migrants have abandoned tightly-secured Calais for less protected ports like Normandy, with drivers fearing increased violence and rape.
The RHA has again called on French authorities to deploy the military to problem areas where policing is under-resourced.
As well as Normandy, haulage chiefs say that Caens, 200 miles south along the French coast, is fast becoming another staging point for illegal migrants to force their way onto lorries, due to its shipping link to Portsmouth.
The hauliers’ association is concerned that while security has tightened in Calais, the other ports are leaving drivers exposed to violent attack.
Rod McKenzie, RHA managing director for policy and public affairs, said: “We have evidence of a real and present threat to the lives of lorry drivers who are just trying to do their job getting goods to the UK. Real problems occur when lorries are forced to stop by makeshift roadblocks where migrant gangs attempt to get on board, frequently with threats of violence.”
‘Help Us’ Pleads Small French Town Dubbed ‘The New Calais’ After Migrant Influx https://t.co/uklAAIeM9b
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 14, 2017
“We have also been told of threats of rape towards female drivers. There’s no question that the risk to drivers is significant and the situation is deteriorating,” he added.
Hauliers have been warning French and British authorities for years over the dangers they face driving through French ports. In attempts to force themselves aboard lorries, migrants have threatened drivers with chainsaws, hurled stakes through windscreens, and beaten them over the head with bricks.
The industry saw its first fatality in 2017 when two trucks were forced to break to avoid tree trunks intentionally placed in the road by suspected Eritrean migrants, which caused a third driver to crash into the other vehicles, killing him.
115,000 illegal crossing attempts from Calais in 2017 https://t.co/zJpHxxe38Z
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 16, 2018
Despite the demolition of the Calais ‘jungle’ camp in late 2016 — which at its height housed 10,000 illegals — the number of attempted crossings has only fallen by a third, with 115,000 attempts from Calais in 2017.
After the breakup of the camp, migrants have dispersed to other parts of the country, notably Paris — where it is easier for migrants to make contact with people-smugglers. On Wednesday, police dismantled Paris’s largest camp, clearing more than 1,000 mainly African migrants.
In May 2017, Breitbart London interviewed migrants at a makeshift camp just outside the Porte de La Chapelle metro station in Paris. Many blamed Europe for their decision to illegally migrate.
“We blame them, for what they did to Africa! Let’s assume that they did not spoil our country, you wouldn’t have seen me here,” claimed one African, who said he believed terror groups such as Boko Haram had been set up by MI6.
“Our generation are smarter. A white man cannot come and deceive me,” he insisted.