French police clear Channel migrant camp

French police moved Wednesday to clear a food handout centre in the port of Calais occupied by hundreds of migrants biding their time for a chance to illegally cross the Channel to Britain.

AFP| Last Updated: Jul 02, 2014, 12:48 PM IST

Paris: French police moved Wednesday to clear a food handout centre in the port of Calais occupied by hundreds of migrants biding their time for a chance to illegally cross the Channel to Britain.

Police cars and inflatable boats blocked road and sea access to the port after receiving a court order backing local authorities` concerns over sanitary conditions in the centre. 

Migrants who tried to escape by entering nearby homes were apprehended, one resident said.

Smaller squats in Calais itself were also cleared at the same time, charity workers helping the migrants said.
The migrants in the centre and the squats were rounded up and driven away by police, the charity workers said.

Some managers of the charities that had been handing out food were also arrested, they said.

The migrants, many of them from Afghanistan and Syria, had been occupying the food distribution centre for two months, ever since police cleared three makeshift camps holding 650 people at the end of May.

French police have been periodically trying for years to dislodge migrant camps in and around Calais.
But the flow has proved persistent, with many migrants hoping to hide in trucks or other vehicles crossing to Britain, where they believe conditions are better for would-be refugees than in France.