French Mother Claims Police Are Barred from ‘Muslim Only’ Area of Jungle Migrant Camp as She Says Calais Residents Are Terrified of Going Out After Dark
Corey Charlton, Daily Mail, February 14, 2016
A French mother living in Calais has claimed police are forbidden from attending a ‘Muslim only’ part of the migrant camp and said she lives in constant fear that she will be attacked or robbed.
In an impassioned speech posted online, Simone Hericourt described how migrants had defaced a Charles de Gaulle statue, erected an ISIS flag, and attacked her son with a metal bar.
This, including instances of theft and robbery, left her so terrified she was too scared to travel across town to visit the coast, where her late son’s ashes had been scattered.
In a 15 minute-long speech heralded by the far-right and anti-immigration groups, she said the unchecked growth of the campsite and French police inadequacies were ‘c’est insupportable’.
‘What we endure is unimaginable,’ she said. ‘I used to love going to visit what I call my son’s tomb–the sea.
‘I lost my son and we dispersed his ashes into the sea, in accordance with his wishes. One evening I asked my husband to take me to my son’s tomb, because I needed it.
‘This is something I can’t do anymore. Merely crossing the town centre of Calais during the evening means exposing yourself to danger.
‘As soon as it starts getting dark, it gets dangerous. I can’t go where I used to like to go anymore. It’s not possible anymore. I’m scared. And there are many of us like this in Calais.’
Mrs Hericourt has become one of the anti-immigration movement’s figureheads for her regular critiques of life inside Calais since the Jungle camp was established.
She made the speech in a hall outside the city on February 7–the same day far right groups were banned from protesting through the town.
It was uploaded to YouTube by ‘Riposte Laique’, which translates to ‘Secular Riposte’–a group opposing Islam within the country.
She claimed that during the riots of January 23, asylum seekers defaced a Charles de Gaulle statue with the words ‘f*** France’. Beneath it, they unfurled an ISIS flag.
Claiming to have been sympathetic to the migrant’s plight when they first began arriving, Mrs Hericourt’s opinion changed after seeing the effects of the camp’s unchecked growth.
‘They’ve downright made a city within the city,’ she said. ‘They’ve got a discotheque, businesses, schools, hair-dressers.
‘They even have–I wouldn’t allow myself to say this, but I think you understand it concerns the needs of men.
‘They’ve made streets. They’ve given names to these streets. They elected a mayor. Yes! The police cannot at all enter what they call the “Muslim neighborhood”. It’s forbidden.
‘Up to that point, we perhaps might have been able to endure this. But we can’t endure the unendurable, when we see riots taking place during the night, every day, constantly.’
A Calais police spokesman said claims of ‘Muslim only’ areas and ISIS flags in Calais were ‘absolute fabrication’.
‘Police have a constant presence in and around the camp, and of course in Calais itself, and these claims have no basis in reality,’ the spokesman added.
Up to 250 CRS riot police are currently surrounding the jungle, and they are supported by gendarmes and regular police.
Police regularly patrol in the camp and generally have ‘excellent relations’ with the refugees, said the spokesman. ‘Police and anyone else can go where they like’.
He added that there were ‘sporadic violent incidents’, but these were as likely to be carried out by far-right locals attacking migrants, as they were by the refugees themselves.
When a MailOnline reporter visited the Jungle at night last week he found it absolutely safe. Many of those sleeping in it include British aid workers.
Left wing agitators, and not refugees, were pictured defacing a statue of Charles de Gaulle last month. The graffiti was cleared up within a few hours.
A spokesman for Calais town council, which cleaned up the damage, said: ‘There has never been an ISIS flag in Calais.’
Meanwhile, police have announced up to 1,000 people living in the Jungle migrant camp must leave their makeshift dwellings.
Local authorities estimate there are about 3,700 migrants currently in the camp–lower than the more than 4,000 estimated by aid groups.
There were some 6,000 people at the camp just months ago, but the prefecture has made a gradual effort to reduce the numbers. It is suggested that only 2,000 migrants can remain in Calais.
Tensions are mounting in the area over the migrant situation, which some say hurts business and tourism.
Migrants, in turn, are increasingly being threatened and physically attacked by armed civilians.