Council and police to hold talks over travellers
The Council and Staffordshire Police are to discuss how their working relationship can be strengthened when it comes to tackling unauthorised traveller encampments in the borough.
Following a conversation last week with Matthew Ellis, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire, Council Leader Simon Tagg has set up a meeting with Chief Inspector Pete Owen at the Civic Offices next Monday to try and identify more opportunities for enhanced partnership working at a local level so that encampments can be moved on as quickly as possible.
It comes after the Council has led on work to evict several unauthorised camps from its land in Newcastle recently.
The Council is doing everything it possibly can to remove travellers as soon as legally possible. It is continuing to work quickly to serve initial notices – requiring them to leave a site – and securing the earliest court hearing date available, to apply for an eviction order, if the first contact is ignored. Officers also have to carry out welfare visits.
However, the Council believes there are opportunities to improve how information is shared so that issues can be dealt with in a unified way. The police also have powers available in respect of travellers if set criteria are met.
Council Leader Simon Tagg added: “The Council recognises that unauthorised traveller encampments in the borough cause distress, upset and unrest in communities, just like they do across the country. The Council does everything within its power to remove them as soon as legally possible and sites are cleansed and secured straight away.
“Even though clear protocols are in place to take immediate action in all cases, a set procedure has to be followed in accordance with the law to organise a successful eviction. We already have a good working relationship with Staffordshire Police who supports us with this and if there’s any way we can make this even better, we will.
“The Council would also like to explore how the police can use their powers to move on travellers more effectively and how it can help, particularly as residents living by encampments report instances of anti-social behaviour to us as well as the police.”
Last updated 20 June 2018