Migrants attempting to cross English Channel 'kidnapped and beat French police officer'
A French police officer has claimed that he was kidnapped and beaten by migrants attempting to cross the English Channel when he tried to stop them.
The unnamed gendarme told local prosecutors that he was stuffed into a vehicle that 'may have been involved' in human trafficking.
While local reports said he was held by migrants, a senior police chief in the area said it was currently 'unclear' whether there were any involved.
An investigation has been launched into the incident which took place at 8pm on Saturday at the Plage des pauvres, just north of Le Touquet.
The 26-year-old reservist officer was said to be taking a break from patrolling the beach to crack down on crossings when he was allegedly attacked, The Telegraph reports.
The lone gendarme was left in a 'state of shock' and rushed to a hospital in nearby Boulogne-sur-Mer, the Boulogne-sur-Mer prosecutor's office said.
'He said he had been kidnapped in a vehicle that could have been involved in proceedings to facilitate the illegal entry and stay of migrants,' it added.
The gendarme, who had been drafted in from another region, was reportedly given 10 days off work for 'post-traumatic shock'.
The investigative brigade of the Écuires gendarmerie has been handed the 'atypical' investigation but no arrests have been made.
Local newspaper Nord Littoral reported that 'the man is believed to have been attacked and kidnapped by a group of migrants on Plage des pauvres – on the edge of Saint-Gabriel – while he was on a rest period'.
It added that he suffered a 'knee injury'.
The Opal Coast, which covers Dunkirk, Boulogne-sur-Mer and Calais, has seen a spike in attempted crossings recently.
On November 26, Home Office figures show 364 migrants were detected crossing the channel in eight small boats.
More than 27,700 people have crossed the Channel in small boats so far this year, according to British authorities. This comes after a record 45,000 crossings in 2022.
Earlier this year, Britain pledged to fund an extra 500 French officers to patrol the country's beaches.
This was part of a £500 million three-year Anglo-French deal to crack down on migrant crossings.