Kent haulage boss tells of daily migrant attacks at Calais

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Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Migrants attempt to board lorries driving towards the Channel crossing

Lorries are being attacked by migrants on a daily basis in Calais, according to the boss of a haulage company.

Mark Yates, who runs a firm in Dover, Kent, said his drivers had been threatened with violence and in one case, a gun.

Thousands of migrants are living around Calais, many of them in the camp known as the Jungle.

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said a new "secure zone" at Calais for UK-bound lorries was being created.

Mr Yates said the cost of delays and damage to his vehicles ran into tens of thousands of pounds over the year.

He said: "[My drivers] are reporting problems on weekly basis, sometimes on a daily basis. The situation seems to be getting worse.

"One driver has had a pistol shown at him. We've had drivers on the phone while it's been happening, explaining they have guys climbing all over their truck, and you just feel so helpless.

"All you can do is tell them to phone the French emergency number, but for all intents and purposes they're on their own."

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, said this had become a common problem.

"Migrants are throwing boulders, bricks, even a 10-foot spear from a bridge which went through a cab window," he said.

"There's a massive risk a driver is going to get killed. The problem is it's not being contained."

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said it was "in all of our interest to combat attempts to enter the UK illegally".

He said: "We continue to work closely with the French authorities at both political and operational levels on a package of measures to bolster ports in northern France."