Calais migrant camp dismantled by police after early morning raid as number of Channel crossings to Britain skyrockets

A makeshift migrant camp in the northern port of Calais has been dismantled by French police, removing several hundred people, including around 30 minors, in one of the largest such operations in months.

The French authorities stated that the operation started at around 6am on Friday morning, with migrants being taken to several reception centers around northern France. “Several hundred migrants were identified on the premises, including about 30 children,” the police said in a statement. A sizeable police presence can be observed in footage online.  

The number of migrants in makeshift camps around the port city of Calais has increased dramatically in recent weeks. There has also been a surge in the number of migrants crossing the English Channel to Britain.

Friday’s raid, the biggest in months, comes after clashes between migrants and police earlier this week. Since the so-called Calais Jungle camp – where around 9,000 migrants had lived – was dismantled in 2016, makeshift migrant camps have sprung up around the city. Authorities have repeatedly cleared smaller camps only for them to appear elsewhere. 

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A recent surge in migrant movements towards the UK from France has caused outrage in Britain, with politicians such as Nigel Farage calling on the government to do more, and others calling on France to stop the migrant boats embarking. According to the Daily Mail, 1,619 migrants arrived on UK shores illegally in May – a figure that shows a considerable increase on previous years. 

Meanwhile, on Thursday, increasingly anti-migrant Denmark introduced a new law giving the government power to deport asylum seekers to third-party nations for processing. The EU said it was concerned by the move.

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