Monday 26 September 2016

UK plans secure zone in Calais to block flood of migrants

Hayden Smith in London

Published 15/07/2015 | 02:30

UK Home Secretary Theresa May provides an update on the Calais crisis in the House of Commons. Photo: PA
UK Home Secretary Theresa May provides an update on the Calais crisis in the House of Commons. Photo: PA

A new secure zone will be created at Calais for UK-bound lorries in response to an unprecedented surge in migrants attempting to cross the Channel.

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The area, which will be able to hold more than 200 vehicles, will "transform security" for haulage vehicles by taking them off the open road at the French port where they have been targeted by thousands of people trying to reach Britain illegally, said Home Secretary Theresa May.

Announcing the measure in the Commons, she disclosed that more than 8,000 attempts by illegal migrants to travel to Britain had been intercepted in just three weeks between June 21 and July 11.

Transport bosses later questioned how much impact the move would have on the "out of control" emergency and claimed the Government had "let down" British hauliers.

As Mrs May announced the zone, a welter of new figures laid bare the scale of the problem facing authorities on both sides of the Channel. It was revealed that:

The number of migrants in Calais is now estimated to have reached 5,000 - up from around 600 in January.

In five weeks, more than 400 immigrants were found by British police hiding in vehicles or trains - 15 times the number recorded in the first five months of the year.

Last week almost 100 individuals were found by officers in a single day.

Irish Independent

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