DESPERATE MEASURES MP Charlie Elphicke warns Brit truckers will ‘die in Calais’ if urgent action is not taken to stop violent people traffickers

Gangs have attacked lorries with chainsaws and tear-gassed drivers in bid to reach Britain

Rampaging gangs are resorting to increasingly desperate measures to smuggle migrants across the Channel aboard trucks.

Great escape . . . MP warns that action needs to be taken against people traffickers who threaten lorry drivers in Calais

GETTY IMAGES   Great escape . . . MP warns that action needs to be taken against people traffickers who threaten lorry drivers in Calais

Damage caused to the lorry of Allan Campbell. See Centre Press story CPCRASH; A haulier has blamed migrants at Calais for setting a trap which caused his truck to crash with the damage bill estimated to be ¿100,000. Allan Campbell has been sending lorries to France every day for the last 19 years. But the haulier, who runs A.L. Campbell Haulage in Carstairs, South Lanarkshire, said his drivers now face frequent ambushes by migrants trying to get to the UK. He said: "Basically they are burning bales of straw and having fires lit on the dual carriageway."

SWNS     Wreckage . . . lorry drivers face terrifying journeys

They have attacked lorries with chainsaws and petrol bombs, tear-gassed drivers and mounted road blocks using tree trunks and blazing mattresses.

Dover MP Charlie Elphicke has compiled a shocking dossier on ruthless trafficking gangs for Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

And he warned last night: “We must act now before this sorry saga ends in a tragedy.”

He wants Ms Rudd to pile extra pressure on the French to close down the notorious migrant camp known as the “Jungle”.

It now houses 6,000 people desperate to cross the 20-mile stretch of water to England– and has become a magnet for people traffickers.

But criminals caught by British border guards are handed over to French police – who simply drive them out of town and let them free.

Dossier . . . MP Mr Elphicke warns truckers will be killed or injured unless action is taken in Calais

ANDREW PARSONS     Dossier . . . MP Mr Elphicke warns truckers will be killed or injured unless action is taken in Calais

Mr Elphicke is demanding greater protection for lorry drivers – and that people-smugglers are jailed or deported.

He said it was beginning to have a damaging impact on the movement of goods from Europe as drivers refuse to make the perilous journey.

The Tory MP wants all trailers fitted with anti-people-trafficking devices and extra police patrols set up to ensure they pass through the port of Calais safely.

He told The Sun on Sunday: “The whole situation is becoming increasingly dangerous for millions of lorry drivers and tourists passing through Calais.

“It has now reached the stage where it is threatening to damage our economy – and is putting lives at risk.

“Sooner or later somebody is going to be killed or seriously injured. We must act now before it is too late.

“We need to thrash out a joint agreement with the French as a matter of priority to guarantee real protection for lorry drivers.”

People traffickers have exploited the cut to attack lorries with iron bars, baseball bats, tree trunks and tear gas.

Calais Mayor Natacha Bouchart said: “They have professionalised their operation with nightly attacks on the ring road that are more and more violent.

It goes from iron bars and baseball bats to tear gas and burning mattresses.”

Complete clearance of the Jungle should to a joint priority for Britain and France, the Home Secretary is told.

Packed to the brim . . . more than 6,000 people are living in the 'Jungle'

GETTY IMAGES    Packed to the brim . . . more than 6,000 people are living in the ‘Jungle’

Dangerous . . .

GETTY IMAGES    Dangerous . . . Mr Elphicke urges French authorities to close down the ‘Jungle’

Mr Elphicke also warned that the crisis was harming trade, as hauliers had to dump their load once their trailer had been breached by gangs.

He said: “Migrants are running amok on French roads and people traffickers now stop at nothing to storm aboard wagons.

“The problem is that once they are caught by our border guards they are handed over to the French police who release them again a few miles down the road.

“It means they simply make their way back to Calais and have another go.

“This has to stop. They must be deported or put in jail.

“It’s the only way to stop their criminal activities.”

Mr Elphicke also urged the Home Secretary to press the French authorities to close down the “Jungle”.

He warned it had become a magnet for people-traffickers who exploit the vulnerable.

Desperation . . . Elphicke worries that the 'sorry saga' will end in tragedy in France

GETTY IMAGES    Desperation . . . Elphicke worries that the ‘sorry saga’ will end in tragedy in France

Urgent action . . .

GETTY IMAGES     Urgent action . . . Elphicke says drivers face attacks 24/7 from desperate traffickers in Calais

Mr Elphicke said: “The jungle is full of people waiting to be trafficked. They are easy prey for these criminal gangs.”

Truckers’ leaders last night welcomed the report and confirmed the crisis had become unacceptable.

Richard Burnett, chief of the Road Haulage Association, said: “We have seen serious changes in the past 12 months.

“Most migrant action used to be confined to the hours of darkness. Now drivers face attacks 24/7.

“We are seeing migrants, in broad daylight, setting fire to trees in the middle of the road, using the flames as protection as they throw missiles, rocks, bricks and even petrol bombs at innocent drivers. Drivers who are just trying to do their job.”

He added: “Lives are in danger. Bust as more and more drivers refuse to make this journey because of personal safety risks, the movement of freight from mainland Europe to the UK will slow and the economic impact of this intolerable situation will soon begin to bite.”

Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said: “We have  invested tens of millions of pounds to bolster security and opened a new secure waiting area for trucks. The public should rest assured.”

Deal on borders

PRIVATE contractors are being drafted in to spearhead the battle to keep out illegal immigrants.

Firms are being invited to bid for an £80million contract to search lorries and detain any stowaways they find on behalf of the Government.
They will be expected to set up bases at Calais and Dunkirk and at the nearby French entrance to the Channel tunnel.

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Send in the RAF Police with attack dogs. They will keep well away from snarling and biting dogs.

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