Government ministers to work on strengthening the law to tackle unauthorised encampments

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson yesterday led a delegation of MPs with Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden to meet Communities and Local Government Minsters Alok Sharma MP and Marcus Jones MP.

The Government is beginning a consultation on the issue and will also be working closely with David Jamieson on his practical proposals.

At the meeting the Ministers discussed the PCC's proposals which include:

  • Stronger powers to allow police to direct unauthorised encampments to transit sites across local council boundaries.        
  • Make repeat trespass on private (including business) premises by unauthorised encampments a criminal offence.
  • Allow councils to work together across boundaries to ban problematic individuals from trespassing across whole regions like the West Midlands.
  • Offer financial support for local authorities to develop transit sites.

West Midlands Police have faced a doubling of 999 and 101 calls relating to unauthorised encampments in the last 2 years.

Since the introduction of a transit site in Sandwell there has been a sharp reduction in the number of unauthorised encampments in the borough.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said,
"As a result of this meeting the Ministers officials will now be working closely with my office to tighten up the law to give the police and councils the powers we need to tackle unauthorised encampments.

"Unauthorised encampments cause misery across the region that is why I have brought this delegation together to get the action we need.

"I am confident that by tightening up the law we can make a big difference."

Dj In Parli