French authorities in Calais have banned the use of electronic scanning equipment, designed to detect the presence of illegal immigrants in lorries bound for the UK. The Freight Transport Association has criticised the decision, saying that the use of scanners at Calais, combined with the closure of the Sangatte refugee hostel, has contributed to a fall in the number of illegal immigrants getting to the UK.
But the French claim that use of the equipment breaches EU regulations.
The FTA’s Geoff Dossetter said: “Lorry drivers support the use of scanning equipment, which adds to the actions they themselves take to defend their vehicles and loads from penetration by illegal immigrants, and from the criminals who facilitate them.
“The gathering of illegal immigrants seeking to reach the UK from Calais and elsewhere in northern France continues to be a major problem for British and all other lorry drivers crossing the channel. Those drivers look for support from both the UK and French governments in doing all they can to provide security for lorry drivers and their vehicles to prevent the carriage of illegal immigrants into the UK. This latest action by the French will clearly not help that process.”