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Ports Other Than Calais - Beware

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We are booked for the Newcastle to Amsterdam ferry for next September, just like this year.

 

This September there were no security checks at Ijmunden just passport by Dutch and UKBA.

 

France here we come . ....

 

Pete

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We always use Dover Dunkerque and the last 3 or 4 years we have had the caravan checked they go inside check the loo under the beds, once when we were coming back from Italy the custom officer asked us if we had a good time in Italy, so with credit cards and other things that we use they seem to keep an eye on what we are doing. I have no problem with that. We are going to Spain at the end of the month no caravan but it will be the first time we have gone through Calais for years.

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We always use Dover Dunkerque and the last 3 or 4 years we have had the caravan checked they go inside check the loo under the beds, once when we were coming back from Italy the custom officer asked us if we had a good time in Italy, so with credit cards and other things that we use they seem to keep an eye on what we are doing. I have no problem with that. We are going to Spain at the end of the month no caravan but it will be the first time we have gone through Calais for years.

 

That's a funny place to put it! :D:D:D:ph34r:

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Our van has been checked inside every year at Caen for some years now and the same at Zeebruge and Rotterdam. As for stopping travelling with the van, if we couldn't take it on the continent it would be sold.

Edited by David in Cheshire

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Our van has been checked inside every year at Caen for some years now and the same at Zeebruge and Rotterdam. As for stopping travelling with the van, if we couldn't take it on the continent it would be sold.

 

Our van has NEVER been checked at Caen, including this year. The only thing they asked us at check-in was if we'd left it unattended in the last 24 hours & if so, where. (On a site in Ranville while we went shopping).

 

I wonder what their criteria is for checking or not?

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We use the Eurotunnel for two return trips each year with a caravan or more recently a motorhome. We have NEVER had the vehicles checked. Our last return trip was September last year when there was a security alert because of migrant activity. I was expecting to at least be asked to open my door.

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Going on the motorbike next year.

I'm pretty sure I would notice if the person on the pillion seat wasn't my wife.

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Actually it is, there was an opt out option, the UK opted out, that is why there is passport control at the ferry ports to France :)

I have a feeling the bit of water between the UK and France has more to do with it than Passport Control.

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This is passed on from the Caravan Club forum, posted by a member of staff in the Overseas Travel section:

 

Morning all

I have received the following information from two members who recently returned from Ouistreham:

Attempted stowaway from Caen / Ouistreham

Booked on the 2300 Brittany Ferries departure, we parked our Motorhome in the large open well lit car park in front of Ouistreham port and at 1830 went to dinner at one of the many restaurants 30 yards away.

The area was busy with locals and travellers and it felt safe to leave our home parked there.

On return to the van an hour or so later, to our shock and horror, we stepped inside and found that there was a man inside, crouching and attempting to conceal his presence. He was an illegal immigrant in France, attempting to stowaway in our Motorhome on the ferry to England.

Before I saw him, I noticed as I opened the habitation door that the toilet door was ajar and I believe that he had been trying to hide in there but as we were returning from a long trip, the shower was stacked out with gear and there wasn't space.

Had we returned a couple of minutes later, he would probably have been successfully concealed in the over-cab behind bed rolls.

He clearly hadn't been in there very long and we disturbed him by opening up with the central locking which activates internal lights.

He had entered by forcing a rear window with a screwdriver after melting the rubber seal with a cigarette lighter.

He'd then cut the mosquito net blind and pulled down the inner blind.

He was therefore carrying a screwdriver and a knife. The mosquito net is a very clean cut.

We ordered him out and he was submissive, peaceful and contrite but he fled as we concentrated on raising the alarm and looking for other hideaways. Fortunately he was acting alone. We telephoned the police who attended swiftly and were most helpful in taking our statements quickly so that we didn't miss our ferry.

Whilst I was at the police station giving a statement, the guy was brought in. The police had found him hiding under the stalls in the fish market, and I was able to identify him.

The local police told us that it was unusual for them to target a Motorhome, it's more common to try to hide in the lorries.

We had deliberately used the Caen route to avoid problems in Calais, so we want other members to be aware of this trend in Caen. It was very scary to walk in to our home and find him in there. We will never leave our home unattended anywhere near any ferry port again, no matter how well lit or populated the area.

 

Below are my comments to her post:

 

When we came back through Le Havre in late July we were in a long queue waiting for 'security' and everything was being checked - every car, caravan and motorhome. Our car was searched, inside and out (underneath), the boot searched through, and the doors and steering wheel were swabbed. When we questioned the two guys doing the checking we were told that migrants were now targeting ports other than Calais, and that some had got through to Portsmouth. The swabbing was apparently a check for explosive residue, and possibly drugs.

 

Those of us contributing to forums have warned people using other ports not to be complacent about safety, and this message from Hazel reinforces this!

This is why we never leave our caravan unattended, just asking for trouble,there are always undesirables hanging around there.

Reading your topic it seems you were parked in the public car park before the secure area, so were the port barriers down so you were unable to enter the port.

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