Dunkirk’s deadly New Jungle: The squalid, rubbish-strewn shanty camp where migrants wait to flee France for Britain
- Set up this year near to Dunkirk, the camp is close to favoured launch sites
- The migrants call the camp the New Jungle after the infamous shanty town housing 8,000 in Calais was pulled down by the French Government years ago
- Hundreds arrive every few days and make the dangerous crossing at night time
Pitched on concrete and surrounded by rubbish, this is the squalid, dangerous shanty camp where thousands of migrants wait to escape France for Britain.
Set up this year on the edge of Dunkirk, it is close to favoured launch sites and is run ruthlessly by armed traffickers. Two weeks ago, an African was shot four times in a row over the price of a crossing.
The first Afghans fleeing the Taliban’s takeover have arrived, as have those slipping over the border between Belarus and Poland. They were driven here, say our sources, by British traffickers in cars with UK registration plates which picked them up in Poland and made a 22-hour journey to northern France.
The migrants call the camp the New Jungle after the infamous shanty town housing 8,000 in Calais was pulled down by the French government several years ago.
Set up this year on the edge of Dunkirk, the camp is close to favoured launch sites
In Dunkirk’s version, there is no electricity and the mud is ankle deep when it rains. There are too few latrines for a population that grows daily. Charity vans provide food once a day.
Even French armed police are reluctant to enter for fear a confrontation with the traffickers, and the French government turns a blind eye.
‘The French know conditions are appalling,’ said an informant inside the camp. ‘They are deliberately creating a hostile environment so migrants want to leave and get on Channel boats.
‘It has become a push factor for reaching Britain along with dreams of hotels and benefits which are not given by the French.’
Hundreds of people arrive at the camp every few days to wait to travel on to Britain
Hundreds arrive every few days. One Afghan blagged his way on to a French military plane out of Kabul by using a British Border Force ID card he was given when he lived in Birmingham five years ago. ‘I dream of getting back into the UK,’ he told French TV as he stood on the beach.
Hundreds are marshalled out to the beaches for night-time Channel crossings organised by traffickers. The source said: ‘It is a military operation run ruthlessly.’
There are five zones in the camp. Some house different nationalities, another is for children and mothers – and there is a special one for the wealthiest, the VIP Zone, for migrants with at least £6,000.
The source added: ‘They are predominantly Vietnamese, Chinese and Albanians. They are put at the front of the queue and get the safest and fastest boats.’
Others are less lucky. Destitute Africans who have been in France for years languish here as they barter over the price of a place on a rickety vessel.