There is a huge increase in numbers of lorry drivers being robbed, beaten and even murdered for simply doing their job. Illegal immigration is out of control and there is no protection in place for the people carrying out this high-risk job.
Last year, roughly 5,000 illegal immigrants were detected within 72 hours of arrival and identified in a UK port (e.g., from lorries or containers). Many of those will have been lorry drops but the number may also include some boat arrivals that were later detected after arriving on a beach.
Many of the drivers I have spoken to have all told me very similar stories, such as being threatened and attacked in Calais. Lorry drivers receive no protection from authorities and – in many cases – are wrongly prosecuted for having illegal immigrants hidden in the back of their trailers.
Barry Davies, Co-Director of Globetruckers UK, a charity for the HGV industry, reached out to me and told me of his own personal experience. Barry was parked at ST Omer Peage on the A16 in France on a Thursday night, November of 2019, he told me:
“I was lying in bed when I heard some voices outside my cab at around 2am, so I got up to look out the passenger window and was confronted with an Asian looking man with a big knife telling me to shut my window and stay inside… a van pulled up at the side of my trailer, two guys took a set of ladders off the roof and put them up the side of my trailer, then pulled in front of my truck”
At this point Barry told me his heart “was going ten to a dozen”. He continued:
“Then a camper van pulled up next to the ladder with British plates so I wrote down the reg and text them to my dad with a message of what was happening. Then 10 people climbed the ladder and the guy who was driving the small van gave each person what looked like an envelope, before climbing up into the trailer…The camper van and the small van drove off taking the ladders with them, the trailer was shaking so I knew they were in”.
The next morning, Barry set off for Calais port, as he got to the port he drove left towards the French custom shed and told the French police exactly what had happened. They then opened up the ‘sealed’ trailer and retrieved the 10 people from the back. The police then parked Barry’s lorry up and took him to Calais police station. There he had to give statements to Interpol and the registration plate numbers of the vehicles involved.
Once Barry arrived back in the UK on the Friday, he drove up to Stoke-on-Trent where (exhausted) he parked up for the night. At around 11pm, he told me there was a knock on the driver side door, he continued:
“I looked out the window and there was a guy stood [sic] there, muttering in what sounded like Romanian. I asked if he was okay, he asked me how to get to Coventry, so I gave him directions. He walked off to the back of the trailer, I carried on watching a film on my laptop then heard a noise, took a look outside and there he was looking a bit worried. Again, I asked him if he was okay. He held up a map in his hand and opened it, I opened my door to talk to him, he passed me the map, as I was flicking through, then he moved in closer and then suddenly grabbed both of my legs and tried to drag me from the cab! My survival instinct took over and kicked out with both legs, catching him under the chin with my steel toe caps. He fell back and I slammed the door shut as he ran off towards the back of my truck”.
Barry phoned 999 and told them what had happened. They stayed on the phone with him until emergency services arrived on the scene, 7 minutes later. Barry then went on to say:
“They arrested one guy but could not find the other… A few weeks later, my boss received a phone call from Interpol explaining that it was a human trafficking gang that had attacked me. The human traffickers had followed me from Dover, they didn’t know that the immigrants had been taken out of the trailer in Calais. They were trying to get the padlock keys from me to open the trailer”.
17 people were arrested based on the information Barry provided the authorities.
One lorry driver I spoke to, named Tony, told me how the illegal immigrants would break padlocks and then use superglue to give the impression the lock’s seal hadn’t been broken.
He also said:
“I carry a weapon in my cabin now as it’s just not safe anymore. Luckily I haven’t had to use it but I’ve seen drivers literally dragged out of their cabins and beaten and robbed by migrants”.
Another lorry driver, named Kenneth, told me:
“I had an incident with illegal immigrants at the port of Patras (Greece), where we caught a group attempting to strap themselves under the truck with rope and a piece of timber… You soon get into the habit of checking your vehicle every time you stop. We avoided leaving the vehicle unattended whenever possible”.
Many of the drivers I have spoken to are extremely concerned about this ever-growing problem. There doesn’t seem to be no procedure put in place to protect drivers whilst they are carrying out the essential role of delivering goods around Europe.
With illegal immigration growing rapidly, working as a lorry driver has become a very dangerous job. Drivers have been followed, threatened, attacked and even arrested for simply doing their job.
For as long as I can remember, I have heard of the horror stories of how illegal immigrants have attacked lorry drivers and use any means necessary to get into the back of a lorry, to get across borders illegally.
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