Spa MP quizzes police after Droitwich travellers occupation - The Droitwich Standard

Spa MP quizzes police after Droitwich travellers occupation

Droitwich Editorial 2nd Jul, 2014 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016   0

MID WORCESTERSHIRE MP Sir Peter Luff has expressed concerns about travellers in Droitwich.

It comes just days after we reported on our front page how Wychavon District Council had been left with a substantial bill after the illegal encampment at St George’s Field, off Ombersley Way.

Sir Luff said he felt Wychavon had done all they could in the circumstances and added: “I’m deeply concerned that travellers who know their way round the law seem to be making a mockery of the concerns of law-abiding, tax-paying residents.”

He has now written to West Mercia Poilice to ask what more could be done to prevent illegal camps by travellers in the future.

In his letter he stated: “After sporadic but worrying issues on the Berry Hill Industrial Estate over the past few months, we have now had serious issues with travellers in Ombersley Way and Addeyes Way.

“I would appreciate a statement from West Mercia on the steps you have taken to address the problems caused by these most recent events, and of the powers available to you to control this situation when, in the most recent case, we have had criminal damage and gross public nuisance caused by, among other things, defecation in public places.

“I would particularly appreciate any suggestions you may have to make it easier for you to exercise your powers, or any revision to those power you would like to see made to enable you to take more effective action against such totally unacceptable situations.”

He concluded by writing that he was sure the police shared his concerns about the way law-abiding residents were being exposed to such behaviour and the costs to local councils.

Speaking after sending the letter, he said: “Sadly the A38 is a road that has been particularly popular with travellers for decades, hence the frequency of the problems we face in Droitwich.

“The real difficulty is in legislating against such behaviour – when a group of people know how to work their way round the law and are determined to do so, it is very hard to prevent them or to catch them in criminal acts without deploying a huge (and very expensive) level of resource from the police, or unintentionally infringing other people’s rights.

“Society does depend on a level of shared responsibility and this is something these travellers manifestly do not have.”

Supt Mark Travis, the police commander for South Worcestershire, said the local Safer Neighbourhoods Inspector, who received the letter, gave a prompt and detailed response outlining police actions to the travellers in Ombersley Way and Addeyes Way and has offered to meet Sir Peter to discuss the matter further.

“We share the concerns which have been raised and have assured him we have done our utmost to support the landowner, which is Wychavon Distritct Council in both instances.

“Officers visited both locations on a number of occasions and appropriate advice was given to the travellers.

“We work hard with colleagues and partners to maximise our effectiveness within the existing legislation while recognising the need to be balanced and proportionate.”

Supt Travis added the police would continue to investigate any reports of criminal activity or anti-social behaviour and take action against those responsible when offenders were identified.


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