Police Powers (or lack thereof…)



A Case Study: North Somerset


North Somerset is a popular place for travellers…


….especially as we approach the summer months. Despite the pandemic, this seems to be true in 2021 as much as any year before it, with large numbers of travellers setting up shop, as it were, on the beach lawns in Weston-Super-Mare.


It’s a problem for local communities.


It’s a problem for tourism.


It’s a problem for the travellers themselves even, as they know they can’t stay there indefinitely.


But what is being done about it? Are the police getting involved?


The short answers to those questions are…’not a lot’ and ‘no’, in that order.


As we have written previously, the pending changes to the law, which are supposed to make it easier for the police to remove travellers from illegal encampments up and down the country, are little more than a paper exercise.


They are simply extensions to laws that are already in place, laws that are already underused or misunderstood.


The police already have the powers to remove these communities from the sites they trespass on.


The law is crystal clear and robust enough to allow this to happen, and yet it doesn’t happen.

Why?


Because the police don’t have the time, the manpower or the resources to do it. It’s that simple.

This is exactly what is happening with the Weston-Super-Mare beach lawns…


The North Somerset police don’t have the time, the manpower or the resources!


You know who does though?


Enforcement companies like #TeamCES have the manpower, the experience, the resources and, perhaps most importantly, the respect of the communities we deal with, in order to successfully, safely and sensibly remove ‘persons unknown’ from any places they shouldn’t be.


We don’t need to wait for changes in the law that make little difference in real terms.


We can act now under common law, as we have been doing for years and years.


Besides, when it comes to an overstretched and underfunded police force, where would you rather they be spending their time and energy?


Following the drawn out legal process of removing travellers from sites?


Or pursuing serious and criminals and solving serious crime?


We know where we’d rather they focus their attention.


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