With its quaint streets, sandy beaches and picturesque surroundings, the French fishing village of Ouistreham is a perfect location for holidaymakers.
But a large ferry port in the centre of town also makes it a destination for a traveller of an entirely different sort – migrants attempting to make their way to Britain.
Each day hundreds of mostly young men from sub-Saharan Africa spend their time chasing lorries heading for the port in an attempt to get to the UK.
Around 200 migrants, mostly young men from sub-Saharan Africa, are thought to be camped out in the French town of Ouistreham, where they try to break into lorries bound for the UK
As lorries head for the port, where ferries travel to Portsmouth, the men attempt to break into the back in the hopes of starting a new life in Britain
Police in the town say the number of migrants loitering in parks waiting for a truck to come through has increased since the ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais was shut down
Many of the men are from Sudan, which has been in a state of near-constant war since independence in 1956, and have fled war for a safer life in Europe
Having come thousands of miles across some of the most hostile terrain on earth, the dangers of breaking into a moving lorry prove no deterrent
Each man may make several attempts every day to get into one of the lorries in scenes that repeat themselves week after week
Locals say their businesses have suffered after the migrants arrived, and that they are considering moving away if the problem cannot be fixed
Their goal is to make it on to a ferry which will ultimately end up in Portsmouth after making a 100-mile journey across the English channel.
For most, that trip is nothing – having already come almost 3,000 miles from Sudan, where they have fled conflict and poverty in the hopes of finding safety and a job.
According to The Sun, there are between 200 and 300 mostly young men in the town, a number which increased significantly after the closure of the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp in 2016.
Forced out of that makeshift shelter, but still determined to get to England, they made their way 150 miles down the coast to this fishing village – not far from where British troops once landed during the D-Day invasion.
Pictures show lone men and groups of men chasing lorries down the streets, hands outstretched towards the rear doors in the hopes of climbing aboard.
Cafe’s in Ouistreham used to do a roaring trade with passing lorry drivers, but most are now too afraid to stop in case their vehicles are broken into
A man attempts to hide on the undercarriage of a transit van headed for the UK
While the hope of successfully sneaking on to a truck is slim, the men are determined to keep trying in the hope of a better life
Transport bosses have called for greater security and even suggested the army should be brought in to provide a permanent deterrent
Ouistreham has been a target for migrants for years, but the problem became more acute after the closure of the ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais
A group of men chase after a truck heading for the port in Ouistreham in the hopes of sneaking aboard and getting a ferry to the UK
Police lights flash against the back of a truck as migrant men try to break into it
For most, the effort will be worthless. They will be hauled off the lorry a short distance up the road by gendarmes, only to return and try again.
This process can repeat itself several times each with single individuals. The routine then continues, day after day, and week after week.
Speaking to The Sun, one said: ‘I have two children, six and seven. I want to get to England to get a job, or study, I want a new life.’
Another, who refused to give his name but said he was 22-year-old, added: ‘I’ve heard some have got into trucks. I think there is a chance.’
Frederic Aubanel, a police general, said up to 200 migrants a day would attempt to breach lorries.
Mr Aubanel said: ‘There are 150 to 200 migrants or between 100 and 150 – it depends on the time of year – who try, no matter what the cost, to get into the port, to get to the UK.
The men are not allowed to set up a permanent camp, so many sleep rough in parks or on the pavement during the day, waiting for a truck to come
Others loiter in public spaces, talking on their phones or chatting to each other until a lorry rolls past and they can try to get inside
While the local mayor has acknowledged the problem, he has refused to speak much about it, calling it ‘too hot’
Two migrants loiter beside a road in Ouistreham, waiting for a lorry to come past
A group of migrants sleeps in a park near the port in Ouistreham, hoping to cross to the UK
The goal is to make it on to one of these ferries, which will carry the men to Portsmouth
‘It’s every day – it’s every day we have people who get into the lorries.’
He added that it was creating a sense of ‘panic’ among lorry drivers who use the port.
Residents in Ouistreham said they were considering leaving their homes because they felt so unsafe.
The men are not allowed to set up camps, and so spend their spare time laying in parks or lounging on benches, waiting for the next lorry to come.
Transport bosses have called for security to be improved and suggested the French military should be drafted in to provide a permanent deterrent at ports along France’s northern coast.
Christophe Blanchet, the MP for Ouistreham, recently warned that the situation was ‘at the edge of a precipice’.
Last year fewer than 17 per cent of asylum applications in the region were successful.