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Number of stowaways caught trying to cross the Channel rises

  • 07 April 2014
  • By Chris Tindall

The number of clandestines caught trying to cross the Channel by hiding in lorries has jumped by more than a fifth in 12 months, according to Home Office figures.

In the year to April 2012, Border Force officers prevented 9,000 individual attempts to cross the Channel illegally.
But by April this year (the latest available data) this figure had risen by 22% to 11,000.

Peter Cullum, head of international affairs at the Road Haulage Association, said members had seen a drop in attempts by stowaways to board lorries recently, but that it had begun to increase again.

“The issue now is the roads themselves,” he said.

“They can’t be guaranteed to be secure. Gangs have improved on their techniques for stopping vehicles.
“Once traffic starts to slow down, people are vulnerable.”

Clive Mills, lorry driver and owner of Bognor Regis haulier Euro2Go Freight Services, said stowaways had tried to jump on his vehicle’s rear axle in Calais:

“They jumped on my truck at midnight,” he said.

“An Eritrean girl told me her family had been bullied, shot at, mutilated and raped. These people are desperate.”


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