French police smash up squalid Dunkirk migrant camp
Armed French police have smashed up a squalid Dunkirk camp today along a disused railway line where the 27 migrants who died last week stayed before they drowned.
Officers forced the migrants to leave before workers in protective suits started hauling down tents and bivouacs near Loon Beach - a well known launching port for small dinghies favoured by smuggling gangs.
Police destroyed a similar camp last week, just before the Channel disaster, but this failed to stop migrants gathering.
The number crossing the Channel has surged to 25,776 in 2021, up from 8,461 in 2020 and 1,835 in 2019, according to Home Office data.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said all those cleared from the camp would be taken to processing centres around France, and given accommodation in sports halls and other public buildings.
They will also be given the chance to claim asylum in France, so discouraging from trying to get to the UK.
The Dunkirk camps are dubbed the 'New Jungle' after the infamous shanty town called 'The Jungle', which was destroyed by the French authorities in 2016.
Like the one in Dunkirk, it became a magnet for people smugglers offering passages across the English Channel for paying clients.
The number of migrants in the Dunkirk camp had tripled in just two months, with many arriving from countries such as Afghanistan and Syria to try and get to Britain on small boats.