8 Aug 2015

Calais crisis: migrants protest outside Eurotunnel

A small group of migrants protest near the Eurotunnel site shouting “we are not animals” as they ask authorities to open the border to the UK.

The group were chanting and holding signs reading ‘open the border’ as they desperately try to reach the UK via the Channel Tunnel.

Since June, thousands have attempted to access the terminal in search for a better life in Britain. Many of those have been risking their lives in order to get to the UK and nine people have died this summer, in an attempt to cross the Channel.

The British government however has decided to ramp up security efforts to stop migrants from entering the country.

Fencing and sniffer dogs

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said 100 more guards would be deployed in the Eurotunnel terminal, following a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee on Monday.

Sniffer dogs have been sent to the Coquelles terminal in a crackdown on migrants stowing away in lorries to get into Britain.

This comes after David Cameron said that a lot more needs to be done about securing Britain’s boarder during the ongoing crisis.

Mr Cameron said: “We have done a lot in recent days to improve the situation but there’s a lot more to do.

“So we have got more fencing, we’ve got more police officers, more sniffer dogs, more guards, better security, and we are making progress”

The government has installed a 1.6km fence around the Eurotunnel’s shuttle platform in Calais and nearby Coquelles. The barbed-wire topped barrier was paid for of £7 million made available by the British government in the last few weeks.

The fence installation came just one day after a Sudanese man was arrested after walking for 11 hours along the 31 mile Channel Tunnel.

Abdul Rahman Haroun was stopped close to the Folkestone exit on Tuesday and was charged with causing an obstruction to an engine or carriage using the railway. He is remanded in custody by Medway magistrates.

He is just one of the hundreds of migrants attempting to reach the UK daily. According to Eurotunnel, there were about 550 attempts to enter the terminal at Coquelles overnight on Thursday.

There were about 600 attempts to enter the tunnel on Tuesday and 400 a night on Tuesday and Wednesday.

It’s now believed that migrants have unlocked a gate into the Eurotunnel complex after guessing a security code.

The Daily Telegraph reported that it has photographs revealing how a group of 30 migrants breached security and walked inside a secure zone.

The Home Office said it does not comment on specific incidents, but a spokeswoman said: “We continue to work closely with the French government and Eurotunnel to tackle the immediate pressures and longer term issues involved in the situation in northern France.”