PCC welcomes first use of tough new powers on unauthorised traveller encampments
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has
welcomed strong action taken by Sandwell Council and West Midlands
Police after new powers to tackle unauthorised traveller
encampments were used for the
first time on Friday 23rd February.
Sandwell Council are the first council in the region to enact
the Police and Crime Commissioner's recommendation of building a
transit site for traveller encampments. In doing so, they have
increased the powers available to the police to move on groups who
do not use the designated site.
West Midlands Police, with Sandwell Council can now order
unauthorised encampments to use the transit site. Those failing to
comply can be escorted from the borough and are banned from
returning for three months.
The PCC is hoping more local authorities follow Sandwell's lead
successful summit on tackling unauthorised encampments last
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson
"We are tackling the issue of unauthorised traveller encampments
"Sandwell Council's decision to take up my recommendation and
build a transit site is driving down the number of unauthorised
encampments and giving police the powers to take action.
"Those breaking the law are now banned from the borough for
three months. This tough action is what the public has been calling
Twelve caravans got onto Vaughan Trading Estate, Tipton,
overnight on Friday 23 February. Council and police officers went
to the privately-owned site and the encampment moved on within a
The caravans then relocated to private land at Ridgacre
industrial estate, off Ridgacre Road, West Bromwich.
The council worked with the landowner and the police, who
instructed the encampment to use the transit site in Smethwick -
where rent and a deposit must be paid for each caravan - or leave
Because the encampment refused to move, police issued a Section
62 notice - which gives police powers to seize vehicles and
caravans and make arrests - and the encampment then immediately
left the borough.