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  1. #1
    Senior Member European Knight's Avatar
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    May 2015

    Refugees target Cherbourg port as security tightens at Calais

    By Rory Mulholland, Cherbourg 8:00AM GMT 14 Mar 2016

    Syrians and Afghans find new route to try to sneak on to trucks en route to England or Ireland

    The bewildered young Afghan stepped off the 3:19 train from Paris. Speaking no French or English, and unable to provide any ID, he was taken straight into custody by the two policemen posted at Cherbourg station to intercept migrants.

    But he will likely be released within hours, and will go to join the growing number of refugees flocking to this ferry port on their way to Britain as security grows ever tighter in Calais, 300 miles to the east, and the demolition of the notorious Jungle camp there continues.

    Since the start of the year, there have been more than 400 attempts by migrants to sneak on to ships in Cherbourg bound for England or Ireland.

    That is twice the number of attempts for the whole of 2015, according to the most senior state official in the region.

    Many more may head there from Calais in the coming weeks as French authorities continue the demolition of half of the squalid Jungle, which is home to up to 7,000 migrants.

    “I think we are going to see a wave of migrants in Cherbourg,” said Guillaume Ingouf, a social worker, who works with refugees in this Normandy town where France’s current interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, was mayor before he rose in the ranks of the ruling Socialist party.

    Mr Ingouf said many of the migrants he helped were in Calais before heading to Cherbourg, where they hoped to sneak into the backs of trucks heading by ferry to Rosslare and Dublin in Ireland, or Poole and Portsmouth in England.

    A group of about 100 migrants hoping to make that crossing live in a draughty and semi-derelict disused church - the Église Sainte Marie Madeleine Postel - in a residential area of the town of 80,000 people.

    On Thursday, a group of seven Syrians sat around a table in the church, sharing a meal of tinned tuna and bread in the middle of blankets and clothes strewn across the floor beneath smashed stained glass windows.

    All said they had tried their luck in Calais before heading to Cherbourg. Some pulled up their sleeves or trouser legs to show scars or bruises they said they got in Calais from police beatings or from falling off trucks or fences as they sought to make their way to what they believe would be a better life in the UK.

    Calais was too difficult,” said one man who gave his name as Mohamed and said he was from the Syrian town of Daraa. “I couldn’t get to England from there because security was too good. And then the police smashed my tent and I came here.”

    Mohamed showed The Telegraph a court order instructing him to appear before a judge in April for having damaged, along with a group of other men, the trailer of an Irish-registered lorry they had tried to sneak into at Cherbourg port.

    That attempt obviously failed, but some migrants are making it to Ireland.

    Last week, nine Kurds were discovered huddled inside the back of a truck that arrived from Cherbourg - after a 17-hour crossing - at Rosslare in southeast Ireland, and two days later six Afghans were found in another trailer on a ship that docked there.

    The Oscar Wilde, an Irish Ferries ship that plies the route between Cherbourg and Rosslare, was the only ferry leaving port on Thursday night, and the Irish drivers having a couple of pints in the terminal café weren’t too worried about intruders on their vehicles, as they believed the freezing rain would deter migrants that particular evening.

    But they all had stories to share about finding migrants in their trucks on the Calais route, and all thought that Cherbourg - along with other ports on the northern French coast such as Dieppe and Ouistreham or in Belgium - would be the next target for refugees heading for the UK.

    “Cherbourg used to be safe but now it’s getting much worse,” said Paidi Twomey, who was on his final trip before taking retirement in Innishannon in County Cork.

    Police and customs officials have stepped up security around the town’s port area, have built more fences topped with barbed wire, and are carrying out checks on vehicles on roads leading to the ferry terminal and on trains arriving in the town.

    But migrants still see Cherbourg as a far easier place to stow away on lorries than Calais, where Britain has funded a huge increase in security measures around the port and the Channel tunnel.

    Two young Afghans watched on a bitterly cold night last week as police and sniffer dogs inspected a van queuing to get onto the ferry in Cherbourg.

    They wouldn’t try tonight, they told The Telegraph. They were just casing the joint, and would return another day try and find the vehicle that would deliver them to a new life in the UK or Ireland.

    Refugees target Cherbourg port as security tightens at Calais - Telegraph

  2. #2
    Senior Member artclam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Very interesting. The question in my mind is will they stay in Ireland or move on to the UK? The UK is a wealthier country than Ireland yet Ireland has suffered from eastern European immigrants crowding the local job market in the past.

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