The British and French governments say they are already on to the possibility the migrant crisis could spread to other ports from now secure Calais and Eurotunnel.
MIGRANT FOCUS SHIFTS TO OTHER CHANNEL PORTS
As Calais calms fears Dunkirk could be next, and Zeebrugge too.
As the situation appears to return to normal at Calais and Eurotunnel, attention shits to other ports thought vulnerable to people traffickers.
Calais has been secure for some months now according to P&O while this is now the second week free of overnight migrant disruption at Eurotunnel’s freight terminal in France (see update below).
At the signing of a new security deal in Calais today between the British and French governments, British Home secretary Theresa May told reporters she was ‘well aware of the possibility of displacement’ and was looking at security at other ports, including Dunkirk.
The seven page declaration published alongside the meeting says, ‘The two governments have commissioned a study of other Channel and appropriate North Sea ports that could be used by criminal gangs exploiting migrants. The two governments will commission and implement new security measures if necessary, based on that study.’
Although migrant activity has not so far disturbed ferry operations at Dunkirk on a regular basis there have been tragic incidents. Last November two migrants burned to death in the back of truck which caught fire while waiting to board at the port.
The Daily Mail published a report last week on a camp at Teteghem, near Dunkirk, though it is thought migrants stow away in cars there before attempting to cross the Channel at Calais or Eurotunnel.
Meanwhile, P&O tells the Hull Daily Mail it has not seen an increase in migrant activity at Zeebrugge, Belgium – from where it sails twice daily to Hull – but that it stands ready to increase security if and when it does so.
Last week, Belgium set up a national ‘Task Force’ expressly to prevent any ports becoming ‘the next Calais’.
Update 24 August: since the meeting, the migrants have disrupted Eurotunnel on several occasions after gaining repeated access to the bulk freight train yard in Calais, see more.