MP backs bill to deal with travellers

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Selby and Ainsty MP Nigel Adams has co-sponsored a bill in Parliament aimed at giving extra powers to the police and local authorities so they can disperse illegal traveller encampments more quickly.

The bill seeks to give local authorities and the police additional powers and responsibilities to help move on unauthorised traveller encampments more quickly and to clarify the law as it affects police and local councils.

“Nothing irritates the public more than to see an illegal encampment on their doorsteps for weeks on end, not understanding why the public authorities seem powerless or unwilling to move on the vans, cars and other vehicles which so often accompany these encampments,” said the MP.

The Bill has four main provisions: Firstly, to clarify on the Public Order Act 1994, so that the Police have to take action when an unauthorised encampment appears.

“At present the police are not obliged to move on travellers and this is a real area of contention.

“It cannot be right that if a local authority, or a local landowner, do not move promptly on this matter, that neighbours to the site have to deal with the matter, as best they can.

“The police should be obliged to move an unauthorised traveller encampment whenever one occurs.”

And Mr Adams called for more powers to impound travellers’s caravans and vehicles if the owners do not move on as directed.

“We need to end, once and for all, the ‘cat and mouse’ issue that arises as travellers move on from one site to another site nearby.”