Calais may have slipped out of the media spotlight, but the chaos continues around the French port and is at crisis point for truck drivers heading through the area being threatened by migrants on a daily basis.
The Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) has released photographs of a truck damaged by stone-throwing migrants in Calais which highlight the growing problem of violence towards drivers at the port.
The windscreen of the Virginia International Logistics lorry was cracked in two places in the attack. The driver was told by police to report the incident at the police station in town, which would have meant leaving the port and travelling back through for a second time.
Neil McDonnell, General Manager of FTAI, said: “We understand the terrible conditions under which migrants and asylum seekers are living in Calais. However, nothing excuses violent conduct against freight drivers. If this behaviour continues, it is only a matter of time until a confrontation between immigrants and drivers results in serious injury, or worse.”
FTAI members have reported an increased number of confrontational incidents for drivers approaching Calais in recent weeks. Migrant activity is now shifting to the Port of Cherbourg where the French police presence is lower.
The Association’s members have described the area as a ‘warzone’, and FTAI warned last month that the situation in Calais would escalate if action wasn’t taken after violent battles broke out between police and migrants near the Jungle migrant camp near the French town.
Mr McDonnell added: “FTAI expects and demands safe passage for truck drivers and other port users going about their lawful business. This must be the primary concern of the French and UK authorities before someone gets seriously injured, or even killed.”