Friday 9 December 2016

Man believed to have walked nearly length of 31-mile long Channel Tunnel

Tom Pugh

Published 06/08/2015 | 21:07

Migrants run towards the perimeter fence of the Eurotunnel site at Coquelles in Calais, France
Migrants run towards the perimeter fence of the Eurotunnel site at Coquelles in Calais, France

A suspected illegal immigrant is believed to have walked nearly the entire length of the Channel Tunnel from Calais before being held by British officers.

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The man, understood to be Sudanese, was found inside the 31-mile long Chunnel near its exit at Folkestone, Kent, on Tuesday evening.

Kent Police said Abdul Rahman Haroun, 40, has been charged with causing an obstruction to an engine or carriage using the railway under the Malicious Damage Act 1861.

At least nine people have died trying to cross from Calais to Britain amid this summer's migrant crisis which has placed UK police and social services under huge strain.

Migrants climb over a fence on to the tracks near the Eurotunnel site at Coquelles in Calais
Migrants climb over a fence on to the tracks near the Eurotunnel site at Coquelles in Calais

Nightly incursions by migrants and blockades by striking ferry staff in northern France have led to UK haulage firms incurring huge losses.

And Kent County Council has admitted it has no more foster beds available to accommodate unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) arriving in the county.

Kent police and crime commissioner Ann Barnes said the Government has agreed to meet all extra costs linked to the policing of Operation Stack and dealing with suspected illegal immigrants.

She said: "It's only right and proper that the extra money Kent Police spends to deal with this national civil emergency comes from central government coffers and not from our local policing budget.

"I am very pleased that the Home Office recognises this because the force is having to look after every single penny because of past, present and future cuts to police funding."

Haroun was due to appear at Medway Magistrates' Court.

Migrants walk on a road outside the Eurotunnel area in Calais (AP)
Migrants walk on a road outside the Eurotunnel area in Calais (AP)

A Home Office spokesman said: "We continue to work closely with the French government and Eurotunnel to tackle the immediate pressures and longer-term issues involved in the situation in northern France.

"The UK Government has recently invested £7 million for fencing at Coquelles to secure the Eurotunnel platforms, as well as further perimeter fencing. Extra Border Force search and dog teams have also been drafted in to further protect the Eurotunnel site.

"Since last year, the UK Government has provided funding to bolster the security and infrastructure of ports in northern France, including a £2 million upgrade of detection technology, a £1 million extension of dog-searching capacity and an additional £12 million to reinforce security at the juxtaposed border."

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