OREANDA-NEWS. Actions to further improve security are urgently required if the violence and criminal damage being faced by truck drivers and operators in Calais is to be halted. Organised attacks on moving vehicles and attempts by clandestine migrants to stow away on board vehicles are unacceptable. Urgent and immediate action to improve the security situation on the approaches to Calais is essential if the free movement of goods is to be ensured.

Promises of increased numbers of security personnel by French Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, are welcome but must take place quickly. Today’s protests by truckers, operators,  local business people and trade unionists in Calais, although not supported by IRU, are a reflection of the concern felt over the current situation in the area.

Marc Billiet, who leads IRU’s work on goods transport in Europe, said, “IRU is not supporting today’s protests but fully understands the frustration felt by operators and drivers resulting from the increasingly violent attacks on vehicles and drivers. Better securing of the approach roads to the Calais area as well as increased numbers of security personnel are urgently required. I fear it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed.”

Following yet another visit to Calais last week IRU saw firsthand the dreadful humanitarian situation being endured by huge numbers of migrants. This cannot however justify the savage attacks on moving vehicles, the increasing number of thefts against drivers or the damage to trucks, their cargos and depots. The problems also now appear to be affecting coach operators too.