MIGRANTS are camping in cliff caves and an abandoned church along the D-Day beaches of Normandy — their new front line, in a bid to enter Britain, The Sun reports. We found groups along the coastline where Allied troops landed in 1944 in an assault on Nazi-occupied France.
Officials say their numbers have soared since the partial clear-out of the notorious “Jungle” camp in Calais. About 100 are living in caves and tents at Dieppe, hoping to illegally board the twice-daily ferry crossing to Newhaven, East Sussex. They are mainly Albanians but there are also Afghans, Eritreans, Iraqis and Somalis.
A port official in Dieppe said: “Dozens now live rough nearby. We catch them every night trying to get inside. “They all want to go to England because they’ve heard they can get a house and money.” In Cherbourg, more than 60 migrants are living in a disused Catholic church.
Many had walked or hitched the 200 miles from Calais. One said he had twice crossed the Channel and been sent back but would try again. Ahmed Naseri, 28, from Afghanistan, was deported from the UK in 2012 but still has a wife and child living in Coventry. He said: “We try and get into the port over the fences or in the trucks when they wait to go in.”
A British lorry driver in Cherbourg, who asked not to be named, said: “Even here it’s starting to get difficult. “You can see the migrants in the service stations leading to the port.” Holiday Brits going to France for Easter face possible chaos if migrants storm ferries in Normandy.
So far this year 436 people have been caught inside the port perimeter fence at Cherbourg, which has sailings to Portsmouth and Poole. In 2014 just 50 were held by security. At Ouistreham, near Caen, mayor Romain Bail revealed 200 migrants had arrived in the town from Calais but were then removed to Cherbourg.
Other groups have been fanning out north of Calais towards a camp housing around 2,500 people near Dunkirk, which has ferry links to Kent. People smuggling gangs have set up operations in the area and there have also been clashes between rival gangs.
The Sun can also reveal that French authorities have stopped three migrant boats trying to leave for Channel island Jersey in the past month.