Victory for PCC’s campaign for stronger police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments
The Government has responded to David Jamieson's campaign
to increase powers to respond to the issue of unauthorised
The PCC began his campaign after major concerns were raised by
MPs, Councillors and local residents about the issue of
unauthorised traveller encampments.
The current system is failing both local residents and traveller
The Government report published yesterday, outlines plans
to amend current legislation and now plan to enact many of the
PCC's proposals. The PCC has worked closely with Ministers and
civil servants on this issue.
Government will seek approval to allow police to direct
trespassers to suitable authorised sites in neighbouring local
Currently, police only have the power to direct trespassers to
sites within the same local authority area.
The response also promises to increase the time in which
trespassers directed from land are unable to return. From 3 months
to 12 months.
This change provides greater protection to land which is
repeatedly targeted by the same group of trespassers.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and Members of
Parliament submitted a joint letter to the consultation back in
June 2018, outlining key legislative recommendations and have
been consistently campaigning on the issue for several years.
Their recommendations called for greater police powers to
respond to unauthorised encampments.
The Government response has endorsed many of the proposed
legislative proposals by the West Midlands Police and Crime
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson,
who has been a long-term campaigner for better powers to tackle
unauthorised encampments, said:
"This is a victory for the West Midlands. The current system is
failing everyone and change is long overdue.
"I have been campaigning for tougher powers to tackle
unauthorised encampments for some time. I have held summits and
worked very closely with local MPs of all parties, in particular
Pat McFadden, Steve McCabe and Richard Burden. I welcome the
Government's response and am pleased that they have listened to the
West Midlands and plan to enact many of our proposals.
"Many of the recommendations we made in 2017 and 2018 have been
taken on board, including the ability for police to direct
unauthorised encampments to transit sites across local council
boundaries and tougher powers to stop repeat trespass on business
"I now urge the government to enact these proposals as soon as
possible and to ensure that local councils have the necessary
funding to manage this issue."
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner is now committed
to working with Government to ensure the proposed legislative
changes are approved by Parliament.