Local MP Ranil Jayawardena says police need more powers

Member of Parliament for North East Hampshire, Ranil Jayawardena MP, will present his petition on unauthorised traveller encampments to the House of Commons on Wednesday 13th June.

Almost two thousand residents of North East Hampshire and the wider United Kingdom had signed his petition shortly before closing.

The petition calls on HM Government to give the police more powers to tackle unauthorised traveller encampments by: (a) making trespass a criminal offence for which the police can direct trespassers to leave; (b) enabling the police to direct travellers to alternative sites within 25 miles, even where this crosses the current restriction of a county boundary; and (c) enshrining a presumption against retrospective planning applications whereby appellants cannot be resident during any appeal.

Mr Jayawardena will use the support expressed by signatories to the petition to respond on behalf of his constituents to the consultation on powers to tackle unauthorised traveller encampments currently being run by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and which closes on Friday 15th June.

Ranil Jayawardena MP said:

"Thank you to all those who supported my petition. Together, we can demonstrate to HM Government the strength of feeling amongst the silent majority that more must be done to tackle unauthorised encampments, which have often been hubs for anti-social behaviour."

He continued:

"It is great that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is listening and I hope that they pay careful attention to the consultation responses and give the police the powers that they desperately need. 

"It is only right that everyone be equal under the law - you or I would not be able to build or chop down whatever we wanted, wherever we wanted, especially on someone else's land. It is time to act."