Northamptonshire Police on the recent traveller issues

After receiving a response from Daventry District Council (DDC) regarding travellers in Daventy Town, I have recently received a further response from Emily Evans, Governance Assistant at Northamptonshire Police. I am sure you will agree after reading the below that Northamptonshire Police are thoroughly dealing with this matter:

"Dear Mr Heaton-Harris

Thank you for your letter to Police and Crime Commissioner, Stephen Mold.

The Commissioner shares the concerns that you express and he has organised, on more than one occasion, a meeting with all Local Authorities across the County to discuss the most effective partnership approach to this issue. As a result of these meetings, Northamptonshire Police agreed to review their use of powers, with regards to removing unauthorised encampments, in order to ensure that they were being used appropriately and consistently going forward. The Police have seen an increase in the use of their powers to move on those that set up unauthorised encampments (in excess of 120% in the last 12 months), as have the local authorities in the use of their similar powers. This balanced with a large increase in the last two years of unauthorised encampments in this County, which is reflected on a national level.

The County has a well-established partnership group, the Countywide Traveller Unit (CTU) that deals with these issues on a multi-agency basis, an approach strongly advocated by Home Office and HM Government. There are strict criteria that must be met when using Police powers to remove unauthorised encampments and when these criteria are not met, the CTU will begin a civil eviction process, which unfortunately, is slightly lengthier.

We have as an office explored the options with Local Authorities to explore the setting up of emergency stopping places or transit sites but there is no appetite in Local Authorities to do so. This means that Northamptonshire Police cannot use all the powers available to them as immediate eviction requires that a transit site or emergency stopping place is provided.

A Director from our Office now attends CTU meetings as a part of Stephens role in holding Chief Constable to account. This enables any issues to be picked up at these meetings and reported directly back to Stephen who can then raise them directly with the Chief Constable.

I hope that this provides you some reassurance of Stephens commitment to tackling these issues, however please do not hesitate to contact me should you require further assistance.

Yours sincerely

Emily Evans, Governance Assistant"