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UK funds security at Ouistreham port to prevent second Calais

Britain will direct funds to tighten security at Ouistreham port in Normandy, France, after an influx of migrants have fuelled fears that it could become a second Calais.

Published: October 9, 2017, 12:14 pm

    The UK has spent more than €100 million on security in Calais in three years, according to the French authorities.

    The French Interior Ministry said the British authorities had been asked to contribute to the cost of improved security at the port, adding that “an agreement is in the process of being concluded”.

    Officials refused however to say what it would cost British taxpayers but explained that the aim was to “prevent intrusions [into the port] in order to dissuade the migrants from attempting a clandestine journey to the UK”.

    Ouistreham has become a destination of choice for migrants looking to enter the UK, which is why British authorities have been asked to contribute to the cost of improved security, French authorities said.

    “I am worried because I have seen fear and panic rising in the past few days. The subject of migrants nourishes almost all the conversations of the people of Ouistreham at all time. I have the impression that some people are tempted to say that if the response does not come from the state, it will come from themselves,” a local resident said.

    The illegals are attempting to reach Britain by breaking into trucks leaving for the UK. The port of Ouistreham, south of Calais’ ports and a Eurotunnel entrance, has seen a rise in migrants in the area.

    On Thursday a group of about 100 young migrants from Sudan and Eritrea tried to board a truck. A witness to the incident told the Daily Mail: “As soon as the truck stopped at the red light the migrants were quickly trying to jump on.

    “Only one made in on board before the lights changed. This is happening almost every day. They know exactly when the ferries leave for Britain and plan their days around these timetables.

    “Unlike Calais, there are not hundreds of policemen stopping them. At the moment they see this as their best chance of success.”

    Local residents are furious about the increased number of migrants in their town – especially after an 11-year-old girl became a victim of sexual violence. The mayor of Ouistreham has asked more gendarmes against the influx of migrants.

    Romain Bail, the mayor, gave a press conference explaining that an 11-year-old girl “had undergone an attempt at sexual interference (…) by a Sudanese migrant (..) near the port of Ouistreham “.

    The migrants was released soon after after a reminder of the law and “entrusted to the childhood and family department of the county council”.

    Bail complained about the increasing number and “the permanent settlement of about fifty migrants in Ouistreham for two months now. This situation is no longer acceptable and can not last. There is not a day when I am not told about it and persistently. The City can not deal with this on its own.”

    He expressed regret that the city’s charitable associations “distribute food and clothing to these young migrants. And that on the public road when it is forbidden.” He appealed to the government: “There is an abandonment of the state and this creates tensions and psychosis among the Ouistreham residents.”

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