WARNING TO TRAVELLERS STRANDED IN CALAIS
As you are undoubtably aware, safety concerns surrounding the ash plume
from the Icelandic volcano has led to an extenstive disruption to
European flight services.
Large numbers of travellers are currently stranded in Calais desiring to
cross the channel by both ferry and eurotunnel. This, of course, has
been widely reported. However, what is little known, is the response of
the French government, Calais administration, and police to the
situation. Reports have been made of increasing police harrassment of
travellers who have become stranded in Calais.
- If you are unable to provide your ID upon request this may lead to
temporary detention whilst your identity is ascertained. (Do not
leave your passport in your hotel room)
- If you have been unable to find accomodation, be careful camping
around Calais. People who have pitched tents in the dunes and on the
beach have been repeatedly harrassed. In some cases, their tents,
sleeping bags and other property have been taken and/or destroyed and
their drinking water poured into the sand. There have also been
reports of violent behaviour during these police operations. (We
suggest you find as secret a place to camp as possible)
- Police are currently undertaking regular patrols of parks, beaches,
dunes, disused car parks, and the town centre looking for people who
are camping or are parked.
- Three young students who allowed a lone scared & stranded woman to
sleep with them in their van overnight were arrested by police. They
were held for fourteen hours in solitary confinement before being
released without charge.
- As many travellers are on a shoestring budget and have been
unexpectedly stranded, local charities have begun to distribute food
twice a day. However, some travellers have reported that police
presence leads them to fear attending the food distribution point.
This leaflet was produced to draw attention to the current situation in
Calais and the extreme response by the police and government agencies.