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Kuehne + Nagel has raised the security risk for its drivers in Calais to its highest level after an HGV driver was severely injured and had his vehicle hijacked in the area last week.

The company raised the security risk level for the Port of Calais and its surrounding area to red – its highest – after a driver was hospitalised with severe head injuries.

The driver, who remains unidentified, had left his cab to inspect his vehicle after noticing migrants trying to enter the trailer. He was attacked with a brick and abandoned, according to a Kuehne + Nagel report, which has been sent to its drivers and subcontractors.

His truck was hijacked for around 8km until it was stopped by police.

Following the attack, the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (Navcis) is requesting all carriers to advise their drivers to remain in their cabs whenever there is migrant activity and to call the police and port authorities to alert them to the situation.

Navcis industry liaison officer Andrew Round said: “This is a new level of violence not seen before and we believe this is the first time a truck has been hijacked by migrants, so this attack is of some concern to us.”

Both the RHA and FTA called for increased security at Calais this week. RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “This latest development is extremely disturbing and comes as a stark warning to UK-bound hauliers that migrants will stop at nothing to reach our shores.”

James Hookham, FTA deputy chief executive, said: “This shows how desperate migrants are becoming. We advise all drivers travelling through Calais to stay in their cabs since it is clear that migrants are prepared to hijack trucks.

“This is a public order breakdown on French territory that must be laid squarely at the door of the French government.”

Charlie Elphicke, Conservative MP for Dover, said: "This sickening attack shows the extreme lengths people will take to break into Britain.

"Hard-working lorry drivers must be protected from brutal assaults like this. Tourists and truckers must be safe on the road to Calais.

"Whether it's using small aircraft or stealing lorries, trafficking gangs are using ever more disturbing tactics to smuggle migrants across the English Channel.

"That's why we need a crackdown on these ruthless people traffickers – to end their evil trade of modern slavery."

Last month a van driver was killed on the approach to the port after migrants halted trucks in a bid to gain access.