It was just past midnight. I heard the hollow pop of tear gas rounds being fired as I drove around the spiralling junction network on the road leading to Calais Ferry Terminal.

Ahead of me three CRS riot vans had stopped on an elevated section. Police in black body armour and helmets fired into the central roundabout scrubland. The dark shapes of people could be seen running, the grass around them bursting into flames.

Gas was blowing across the road. The car filled with the acrid peppery smell, my eyes streamed and I started coughing.

Ahead in the dark something spanned the road. I hit the brakes and stopped just inches from a pine tree, now laid out as a roadblock.

These are the nightly scenes around Calais, increasingly desperate measures taken to enter the UK before an anti-migrant wall is built and the Jungle refugee camp is completely demolished.

Since the last eviction in February, the north side population has swelled to 10,000 people. Food and accommodation is scarce, illness is rife and tension is at an all time high, as those still trying to seek entry into the UK see the window of opportunity closing fast.

That desperation has also affected the people smugglers, who see a lucrative source of profit about to dry up once the camp is gone.

The Great Wall of Calais, as it is being called, will be a four-metre high concrete barrier, spanning both sides of the N216 port road. Construction quietly began mid-September, at a £2 million cost to the UK taxpayer, but it has been criticised as being unnecessary now that President Holland has pledged that the Jungle will be cut down. The right-wing Mayor of Calais, Natacha Bouchart, claims that it is 'no longer necessary'.

Haulage firms have also cast doubt about its effectiveness, as although the wall will start several hundred metres south of the Jungle, where the port road fences end, it won't extend to the main battleground two kilometres south.

The main junction between the A16 motorway and the N216 is where migrants try to board lorries and where, for weeks, more than 2000 police have struggled to cope with smugglers and refugees.

“If they build a wall, people will dig through it," one 23-year-old Afghan migrant told me. "They are desperate.”

On 26 September President Hollande flew into Calais central Gendarmerie barracks, on a military helicopter and announced the Jungle would be “dismantled” by the end of the year.

Refugees would be removed to 164 reception centres around the country, where they could claim asylum in France. Those who refused would be deported.

Hollande’s plan did not cover the 1000 children in the camp. He said the UK should do more to solve the refugee crisis in Calais. However, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said clearing the camp was the responsibility of France.

In May Prime Minister David Cameron pledged that Britain would accept 3000 unaccompanied minors. By mid-September only 30 children had arrived, despite many of the Jungle children identified as having a legal right to enter the UK.

With endless rumour of eviction in the camp, the night time activity increased. So has the police response and the refugee injuries.

Walking through the camp I saw men, young and old, with bandaged arms, legs and heads. One Afghan showed me a wound on his cheek. A rubber bullet fired into the camp went through his flimsy tent and struck him in the face while he was sleeping.

A young man struggled through the camp in a wheelchair, both legs broken in several places after falling from a truck. Another young boy was shot through the leg by a smuggler with a gun for trying to board a truck without paying.

The police attack the camp most nights, according to refugees and volunteers. Authorities say they use crowd dispersal weapons to push people back from the fences, but those incursions often continue into the Jungle, despite a 100-metre No Man's Land between the camp and the road.

I watched as after sustained efforts by refugees to set up roadblocks at the A16 junction, a convoy of ten police trucks sped towards the camp. From the road tear gas and rubber bullets were fired deep into the heart of the Jungle. The rubber bullet guns used laser-sights to target people inside.

A second night saw five units of police, protected by a wall of riot shields, fan out across No Man's Land, firing into the camp for more than an hour. Some refugees hurled back insults and a few stones. A 14-year-old boy with a crude bandaged head was led out by friends to an ambulance at the camp entrance, another head injury sustained from rubber bullets.

Clare Mosley, the founder of charity Care4Calais, said: “At some point we are going to have to have a policy that is a solution for everybody, for the refugees, for the lorry drivers, for the people that live in Calais.

“If we had what they call safe passage, a mechanism where people who have a true legitimate right to asylum, could actually go to the UK legally, then they wouldn’t have to take these risks. The people smugglers would hopefully go out of business.”

After Hollande’s visit the activity started early that night. Police used CS spray against groups of refugees trying to make a direct run for the port fence. Anyone caught alone on the dark, unlit roads surrounding the ferry terminal was jumped on by police and violently arrested.

At the A16 junction large groups of people attempted to block several sections simultaneously. Sections of trees and large rocks appeared on the road every 30 minutes, bringing trucks and cars skidding to a halt.

The police opened fire continuously, burning canisters trailed across the sky into the fields on either side of the road. The wind caught the gas and blew the cloud on to a nearby residential street, sending inquisitive residents running from their doorsteps, into their homes.

In the early hours of the morning I watched lines of exhausted looking refugees emerge from the fields. They weaved their way through the back alleys and wastelands of residential and industrial estates, back towards the Jungle. There they would wait for another night to try again and face arrest, injury or worse, knowing that their time was running out.