BROMSGROVE MP and Home Secretary Sajid Javid is planning to bring in new powers for the police to enable them to get tough and crack down on illegal traveller encampments.
Mr Javid said the legislation would make it easier for officers to evict trespassers and give protection to residents whose lives were often blighted by anti-social behaviour.
“The vast majority of travellers are law-abiding citizens – but illegal sites often give an unfair, negative image of their community and cause distress and misery to those who live nearby.
“Since becoming the MP for Bromsgrove, I have had regular correspondence from constituents in distress about this issue.
“I’m very pleased that today’s measures will go some way to helping them and to easing their anguish.
“There is a widespread perception that the law does not apply to travellers and that is deeply troubling.
“People want to see greater protection for local communities and for the police to be given greater power to crack down on trespassers.”
We are committed to protecting our local communities. That’s why we are proposing new powers for police to crack down on illegal traveller sites, including making it a criminal offence to trespass when setting up these camps. pic.twitter.com/a0SJVcLZN8
— Home Office (@ukhomeoffice) February 7, 2019
The Home Office is launching a review into whether to make intentional trespass a criminal offence, and allowing the police to respond more swiftly by significantly lowering the legal threshold for criminal action against illegally camped travellers.
There will also be a consultation on proposals to change the law to eradicate a series of loopholes, including cutting the number of vehicles needed to be involved in an illegal camp before police can act from six to two.
Meanwhile, Mr Javid will unveil a package of practical and financial support for Bromsgrove District Council and other local authorities across the country, to tackle the illegal camps.