In Parliament this week I pressed the Government for an update on extra powers for authorities to deal with encampments following incidents at Beechwood Park last weekend.
I said “Last weekend another unauthorised encampment set up in Newport at Beechwood Park causing huge frustration and cost for residents, the local authority the police. The Government have recently consulted on extra powers for Local Authorities and police to deal with circumstances like this. Can we have an update quickly from Ministers to give our authorities the powers they need?”
The recent unauthorised encampment at Beechwood Park followed a string of incidents at least 13 different sites around Newport. It’s completely unfair that the public, police and local authority have to put up with this.
Following consultation the Government announced in February a series of potential measures which would increase police powers, though there have been no announcements since. The measures proposed would allow police to direct trespassers to suitable authorised sites in neighbouring local authorities and remove trespassers from land that forms part of the highway. They would also lower the threshold for the number of vehicles before powers can be exercised and increase the period of time trespassers cannot return to land they have been directed away from.