John Baron MP raises Traveller issues with Minister

October 12, 2017

MP welcomes Government review and will be submitting proposals

This afternoon John Baron spoke in a Parliamentary debate on unauthorised encampments and has raised a number of issues with the Minister both in the debate, in conversation afterwards, and in correspondence. During the debate, John thanked constituents, Chief Inspector Sam Smith of Essex Police, and local councillors for their information, which will also be fed into the forthcoming Government review into whether the laws in this area need revisiting.

John said,

“There is general agreement that the current provision to close such encampments and compel people to move on is not working well. In particular, there is some concern that Police guidelines as regards usage of ‘Section 61’ powers are overly narrow – unless other factors, such as crime, general anti-social behaviour or criminal damage are present, the Police find it difficult to move people on. The legal process through the courts can be slow, cumbersome and expensive.”

“The Police have also raised the fact that transit sites for short-term stays would help to alleviate the problem of unauthorised encampments.”

“Will the Minister take a close look at those travellers who play a game of ‘cat and mouse’ with the authorities, such as simply moving no more than 50 – 100 yards down the road after being moved on, which then invariably requires fresh court action – which leads to more expense and delay?”

John said afterwards,

“I welcome the Government review, and hope it will give due consideration to the so-called ‘Irish Option’ as well as perhaps preventing a return to within several miles of the encampment within a defined time period.”

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