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Migrant Issues at BF Ports

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It sounds like the migrant was originally hidden in the van and decided to move from the van to the car mid-crossing. They presumably thought that splitting up was a better way for at least one of them to get through undetected. 

You never know Watson board these days. Sorry! 

Ed. 

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Saturday afternoon in Ouistreham, out for a stroll and a couple of drinks with friends, in time to see the Normandie's afternoon departure.

As we walked from the port (restaurants / fish market area) past the ferry towards the beach and returned I probably counted 12-15 "probably migrants" hanging around in twos and threes. Not causing any bother, but obviously hoping for a ride.

Interestingly, as I returned past the entrance to the ferry terminal, the first Spanish reefers were pulling in for the overnight. The gendarmes had a two-man inspection point: One holding the truck at halt while the other walked around, peering underneath, then waving an OK to his colleague. Total time per truck – less than two minutes.

My French friends were surprised to see the trucks heading across on a Saturday night – I explained that they would be delivering to the distribution depots by Sunday lunchtime, supplying supermarkets, restaurants and the catering trade first thing on Monday. 

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Bit late but just got back to France. Waiting for early boarding Saturday 16th February at Roscoff and around 6pm  two migrants found under artic trailer, apprehended by security and taken away by gendarmes.

Nigel

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This doesn't concern a BF port but last night around 100 would-be migrants stormed the port in Calais, got onto a DFDS ferry (Calais Seaways) and climbed up the funnel structure. Two ended up in the sea. The port was closed while they were found, removed and fished out of the water. 

https://www.bfmtv.com/police-justice/calais-incursion-d-une-centaine-de-migrants-dans-le-port-au-moins-46-interpellations-1643710.html

Ed

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Thanks to the last minute Brexit timetable changes, we'll be hanging around in Ouistreham on May 31st, waiting for the 23.00 sailing to Portsmouth. Last few years we've arrived there on the 06.45, and seen groups of sad, desperate looking youths hanging around, but not intimidating or threatening in any way. 

As we've returned home from Cherbourg in recent years and don't know what Ouistreham's like now, we wonder if there is anything we should watch out for as we spend a late afternoon and early evening hoping to enjoy a stroll on the beach, a bit of shopping, and something to eat. We used to park in the passenger terminal car park, wonder off for a few hours, then check in at the terminal, before moving the car through the still not open booths into the appropriate lane. I wonder if this area can even be accessed now, before the booths are open. Anyone been through recently?

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5 minutes ago, almosthere said:

Thanks to the last minute Brexit timetable changes, we'll be hanging around in Ouistreham on May 31st, waiting for the 23.00 sailing to Portsmouth. Last few years we've arrived there on the 06.45, and seen groups of sad, desperate looking youths hanging around, but not intimidating or threatening in any way. 

As we've returned home from Cherbourg in recent years and don't know what Ouistreham's like now, we wonder if there is anything we should watch out for as we spend a late afternoon and early evening hoping to enjoy a stroll on the beach, a bit of shopping, and something to eat. We used to park in the passenger terminal car park, wonder off for a few hours, then check in at the terminal, before moving the car through the still not open booths into the appropriate lane. I wonder if this area can even be accessed now, before the booths are open. Anyone been through recently?

I doubt Cherbourg has issues especially for those travelling by car as it's the vans, caravans, trailers and HGV's which are targeted. It's interesting that Le Havre sees no migrants at all. Maybe it's due to the timetables, Ouistreham is the most frequent.

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I`ve no personal experience of this port area in the recent past. But a trawl of travel sites and general news outlets reveals nothing much untoward at this time. Obviously still the cat and mouse games with the Police. In the last couple of months there have been a couple of small demos in support of the migrants but not in the town centre. Although reading the articles it looks more like a reason for a demo against the Gendarmerie than anything else. I do know that security within the port area itself has been massively ramped up and will remain so until further notice. There are thorough security checks on the way in and once through the cordon you won`t be allowed out of the port until you board.

   Many with caravans and motorhomes are now parking up well away from the town to feed and water and make straight for the ferry..Hope this helps

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57 minutes ago, Solo said:

Jonno, they asked about Ouistreham.

Ha... doesn't take a lot, I get confused if you put to shovels against a wall and say take your pick!

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2 hours ago, almosthere said:

Thanks to the last minute Brexit timetable changes, we'll be hanging around in Ouistreham on May 31st, waiting for the 23.00 sailing to Portsmouth. Last few years we've arrived there on the 06.45, and seen groups of sad, desperate looking youths hanging around, but not intimidating or threatening in any way. 

As we've returned home from Cherbourg in recent years and don't know what Ouistreham's like now, we wonder if there is anything we should watch out for as we spend a late afternoon and early evening hoping to enjoy a stroll on the beach, a bit of shopping, and something to eat. We used to park in the passenger terminal car park, wonder off for a few hours, then check in at the terminal, before moving the car through the still not open booths into the appropriate lane. I wonder if this area can even be accessed now, before the booths are open. Anyone been through recently?

The last time I visited was March last year, but it was the same as you've described. It's not unsafe but the worst area is immediately around the port, often with Gendarmes parked up to observe. Down by the beach and Riva Bella was deserted (but it was an evening in March after all!). The Migrants don't really want any trouble that would cause them to be registered as landed in France or deported and the Gendarmes don't want to do anything with them unless they cause any trouble.

Personally, I'd spend the evening in Cabourg and then drive straight to the port because it's a little more interesting than Ouistreham.

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Went out and back on MSM through Ouistreham over Easter .. nothing to say ref migrants. On the way out we left the the port straight away after the overnight (took a while to get out as we were last off as we were parked at the back of deck 6). On the way back (departing 2pm), we had a couple of hours to kill so parked up in the Place du Marché by the Carrefour and wandered about for a bit, then drove into the port and queued up. They had a two man team checking the artics - all fridges were opened up and inspected with a step ladder and they inspected the underneath of the trailers. Otherwise, totally uneventful... MSM was v quiet both ways.

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Coming back through Roscoff on Monday evening, there were 3 lads (looked quite well dressed) hanging around the vehicle waiting area when we arrived.  They scarpered when the gendarmes arrived.  The gendarmes checked under and in each artic and caravan/motorhome as well as keeping a weather eye open for return of the lads.

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We came off the NORMANDIE yesterday afternoon and it was very very quiet. There were a few of the lads camped up by the camp site, but didn't see any in the town square. I think they are beginning to realise that there's only a couple of ferry movements a day and it's a bit of a dead loss for trying to get through the pretty solid security now in place.

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11 hours ago, BZH29 said:

The suprising item in the report is how they seem to be squatting in holiday homes, of which I have no doubt there are many in the Roscoff area..then try to smuggle themselves in via a smaller, less protected port. The recent reports of increased security at St Malo are to be expected I suppose no doubt Cherbourg will be reinforced in a similar way. Sign of the times we live in sadly.

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On 02/05/2019 at 12:55, almosthere said:

Thanks to the last minute Brexit timetable changes, we'll be hanging around in Ouistreham on May 31st, waiting for the 23.00 sailing to Portsmouth. Last few years we've arrived there on the 06.45, and seen groups of sad, desperate looking youths hanging around, but not intimidating or threatening in any way. 

As we've returned home from Cherbourg in recent years and don't know what Ouistreham's like now, we wonder if there is anything we should watch out for as we spend a late afternoon and early evening hoping to enjoy a stroll on the beach, a bit of shopping, and something to eat. We used to park in the passenger terminal car park, wonder off for a few hours, then check in at the terminal, before moving the car through the still not open booths into the appropriate lane. I wonder if this area can even be accessed now, before the booths are open. Anyone been through recently?

As you approach the terminal, the left-hand lane takes you to the (payable) car park in front of the terminal building rather than the check in lanes on the quayside. BF's Ouistreham info page links to the port's parking charges list - from 2–6h the charge is €1.50 an hour – but this notice dates back to 2014, so may not be current. Some colleagues of mine used it a few days ago, dumping the car and then walking back through the fish market to enjoy a few drinks at Le Phare while waiting for Le Roulis to open.

The downside for Mme of course is that as the designated driver – not by choice – she had to exit the car park and then navigate on to the ferry, a task normally delegated to Monsieur. But she assures me that she claimed her compensation in the bar on board.

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The Maire  of Ouistreham is being taken to court by a group of Townsfolk for being abusive towards them and abusing his power by parking on forbidden ground to distributing  aid to people trying to board the Ferries. In one of the streets next to the camping municipal adjacent to the island after the Carrefour and fuel station on the way into the town.

See Here ( in French) 

if found guilty he could face a prison term.

The article also says that there are only about 50 such “Migrants” still in the town.

 

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