The police register the migrants they pick up and then release them with a document ordering them to leave the country. Most just ignore this.
Nevertheless, Mr De Caluwé says that the police operations do serve a purpose as they make it clear to the migrants that they can’t set up camps here like they have in Northern France.
Mr Decaluwé also calls on West Flemings not offer help, especially food to the migrants as it would simply serve to attract more of them to the area.
“You can’t just leave people to fend for themselves”
Mr Decaluwé’s comments have met with criticism from one of those that has been offering help to migrants in Zeebrugge, the Parish Priest Father Marechal.
Father Marechal told VRT News that “I was very bemused by what he said. You can just leave people to fend for themselves. They would be more trouble if we didn’t give them any food. They absolutely want to go to England. I think that he is being harsh.”