Essex PFCC welcomes plans to criminalise trespass

12 March 2019, 07:48 | Updated: 12 March 2019, 08:14

Roger Hirst, Essex PCC candidate

Plans to make trespass a criminal offence will help police deal with unauthorised traveller encampments, says Essex's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

Roger Hirst has been speaking to Heart about the government's proposals to deal with the problem.

The plans also include additional support for local authority enforcement activities, and measures to address issues around clean-up costs which occur following an unauthorised encampment.

There is also to be extra help for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers communities, including projects to improve outcomes in the areas of educational attainment, health and social integration, and to reduce the community's vulnerability.

"We know that the majority of travellers live within the law, but we also know that unlawful encampments can have a huge impact on local communities around us," Mr Hirst told Heart.

"And that is something that we don't really have the powers and ability to deal with well as we are.

"If you look at the difference that making trespass into a criminal offence has had in Ireland - it certainly does make a difference and helps protect people's land and property."