Calais migrants ‘using gas bottles in truck barricades’
Police union says increasingly dangerous methods being deployed to allow would-be stowaways to slow and enter road freight vehicles
Migrants are using increasingly dangerous methods in their attempt to stop and enter trucks heading for the port of Calais, police sources have claimed.
Unions representing police officers said that in the past fortnight, migrants had begun resorting to burning mattresses, tree trunks, and branches and placing them near gas bottles as they seek to barricade the ring road leading to the Channel port, in order to force trucks to slow down or stop.
“If a vehicle hits a barricade where there is a gas bottle, the consequences will be extremely serious,” one official warned. Officers were being advised “to intervene with prudence”, with police “overstretched and taking more and more risks”.
Tighter security in place at Eurotunnel's French terminal since the end of last year has made intrusions very rare there, leaving the ring road as the main focus of migrant incursions.
An indication that the dismantling of part of ‘The Jungle’ camp earlier this year has had little effect came last month when, in a single night, police found around 250 migrants hiding in more than 80 HGVs. Several days later, a second major incident saw police fire more than 400 tear gas grenades in order to disperse migrants who had set up at least five barricades on the ring road - two of which were on fire - and were attempting to gain entry to trailers.
The police union official complained that the number of police patrolling the ring road had diminished since the beginning of the year, when the situation had demanded reinforcements.
Work to install anti-intrusion fencing along the ring road is due to be completed by the middle of this month. There are also plans to build a 'green' wall four to five metres high along the ring road, with the €700,000 project to be financed by the UK authorities.