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France: We need UK police in Calais


Migrants in Calais wait for a chance to reach the UK

Migrants in Calais wait for a chance to reach the UK

Migrants in Calais wait for a chance to reach the UK

A senior French minister has called for British police to be sent to Calais to deter thousands of migrants hoping to cross the Channel.

France's interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve told the BBC he has had "lots of rendezvous" with his counterpart at Westminster, Home Secretary Theresa May and stressed the need for British officers' help.

Last week, Calais mayor Natalie Bouchart told a committee of MPs there were up to 2,500 migrants camped in the ferry port town, while the UK government has already pledged £12m to improve security.

And now Mr Cazeneuve told BBC Radio 5live: "We had a hard negotiation between the two governments and I have had a lots of rendezvous with my friend Theresa May in order to find a solution concerning this tremendous problem."

Asked if he believed British police should be sent to Calais, Mr Cazeneuve said: "It would be very useful to have more policemen here and we try to find a way of being in a common system here concerning police, in order to explain to all the immigrants in Calais that it's impossible to cross the Channel.

"And we'd be very happy if it would be possible to have more co-operation concerning this point."

Ms Bouchart has stoked tensions between France and Britain by threatening to blockade the port in an effort to force the UK to act, with migrants coming from regions such as Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Syria to seek entry.

She suggested the country's welfare system was the prime motive of the migrants and said the border should be returned from Calais to Dover.

"I do think the frontier should be on British territory because it's up to you to decide whether or not you wish to welcome these migrants or not," Ms Bouchart said.