Charities working with migrants in Calais, France, are being overwhelmed by rising numbers using the town as a base to cross the channel, it has been claimed.

A French volunteer yesterday spoke as dozens of migrants marched through the streets of the French town in a noisy protest demanding human rights protection.

There is rising anger at the increasing number of migrants flocking to Calais which has long been used as a staging post to try to reach the shores of Britain.

But recent months have seen a big increase in their numbers and clashes have erupted between rival African migrants.

The disorder and large influx, mainly from African countries including Sudan and Eritrea, have led the mayor and deputy mayor of Calais to make direct appeals for UK help.

Clashes have erupted between rival African migrants

Pascal Froehly, a volunteer at a migrants’ charity clothes shop in Calais: “There was a time, two to three years ago, when we served 100 people. Now we just cannot face it any longer. My assessment is that there are around 800. The only people who try to help them are volunteers and they are tired. They are tired elderly, unfit and they just cannot face it any longer.”

The issue was further high-lighted this week after dozens of migrants tried to storm a ferry bound for Britain.

Riot police were deployed after up to 100 people breached security and tried to run up the ramp of the cross-Channel ferry. The migrants were foiled from getting on board the MyFerryLink-operated Berlioz vessel when the crew raised the ramp and turned a fire hose on them.

Yesterday Kent Police Roads Policing Unit said three men were arrested on suspicion of illegal entry to UK. The unit tweeted the first man was found on the M20 motorway hanging onto the underneath of a mobile home, before being handed over to the Home Office.

Two further males were later detained on suspicion of the same offence after hanging from the underside of another mobile home, the unit said.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us