Staffordshire PCC Matthew Ellis is calling an urgent meeting of all key parties to discuss resolving issues caused by travellers following the latest encampments in Newcastle.
Mr Ellis wants local authorities, police and other relevant parties to get together and look at lasting solutions for tackling unlawful encampments, which can prove costly to the taxpayer and can bring misery to the lives of local people.
‘This is not about demonising the travelling community, but it is about protecting the rights and lives of law abiding citizens across Staffordshire,’ he said.
‘This is not a new issue, but it is a difficult one to resolve not just here, but across the country. I want to look at ensuring the right measures and systems are in place and that they are being used correctly.
‘All bodies need to work coherently together in these cases to bring swift and efficient resolutions, otherwise the problem is only ever solved temporarily.
‘It’s often the case that the system can be too slow and cumbersome, resulting in huge bills for clean- up operations when travellers are eventually moved on – only for them to cause the exact same issue somewhere else.
‘We need some straight, honest dialogue and we will need to look at difficult topics such as transition sites, which could potentially be one solution.’
Mr Ellis has been liaising closely with Newcastle Borough Council leader Councillor Simon Tagg throughout the current situation involving encampments in the area.
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