Travellers illegally entering farmers’ land in East Cambs leads to calls for more police power from MP Lucy Frazer
PUBLISHED: 16:59 19 October 2017
MP Lucy Frazer has called on Home Secretary Amber Rudd to give police more powers to deal with travellers who illegally park on farm land across her constituency.
Ms Frazer, the MP for SE Cambs, was addressing the Home Secretary in the House of the Commons.
The MP asked what more could be done to deal with travellers setting up camp illegally on other people’s land.
The call was prompted by recent problems experienced by farmers in the constituency in Fordham, Kennett and Burwell.
Ms Frazer said: “It is not acceptable that communities are feeling threatened by travellers’ encampments on private land.
“I have been in touch with the local police and the police and crime commissioner over this issue which is of concern to a great number of constituents.
“Action has been taken by the police and the local authorities to move people on from a number of unauthorised sites in and around Cambridgeshire,
“I will continue to press the police and councils to use the powers available to them as well as press the government to see whether more can be done on this issue.”
Nick Hurd, minister of state for communities and local government, said the issues of giving police more power “is a question that the House feels very strongly about, as evidenced by the number of colleagues on both sides of the House who took part in the recent debate.”
He said Ms Frazer would be aware the Government “is consulting on exactly that point”/
At Fordham recently a car boot sale was cancelled after more than 20 caravans pitched up on part of the site.
At the time, Richard Taylor, events manager for the car boot sales – one of Cambridgeshire’s biggest – said there were new legal measures which can now be used to remove travellers.
“All the local people are upset and cross,” he said.
“We have a number of regular travellers who come and they too are upset by what’s happened. It just gives them all a bad name.”
One issue could be the shortage of caravan pitches on legal sites for travellers.
Some estimates put the number of traveller families waiting for pitches in Cambridgeshire to run into three figures.
In South Cambridgeshire there are thought to be 50 families on the waiting lists: in East Cambs the number is said to be just two.