Author: Liam Deacon
Around 200 illegal migrants a day are trying to break into lorries leaving for the UK from the French port of Ouistreham, as the migrant crisis shifts away from the previous hotspot of Calais.
Police in the small French port town, a three-hour drive south of Calais, say the migrants are attempting to board ferried bound for the English port of Portsmouth.
Local officers told the BBC, which broadcast the shocking footage, that the huge increase in security in Calais meant migrants are shifting their focus.
Frederic Aubanel, a police general in the Calvados department, said Monday night that up to 200 migrants a day would attempt to breach lorries.
“There are 150 to 200 migrants or between 100 and 150 – it depends on the time of year – who try, no matter what the cost, to get into the port, to get to the UK,” he said.
Adding: “It’s every day – it’s every day we have people who get into the lorries.”
The situation has created a sense of “panic” among haulage drivers who use the port, he added.
Ouistreham resident said they were considering leaving their homes in the picturesque town near Normandy because they felt so unsafe.
The migrants are not allowed to set up camps in the area and are frequently bedding down in public areas like car parks, the footage shows.
A Sudanese migrant, named as Tiger, told the BBC he works hard every day to cross the Channel illegally.
“You must try every night. Maybe in a day, I will get in a car three times. If they find you they will get you out,” he said.
Last month, Britain’s Road Haulage Association (RHA) warned that migrants have abandoned Calais for less protected ports near Normandy, with Ouistreham dubbed “the new Calais.”
The RHA has called on French authorities to deploy the military to problem areas where policing is under-resourced and local business and tourist attractions are worried that livelihoods could be destroyed.