MP says law for ‘unathorised encampments’ is ‘adequate’

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The powers for councils to stop unauthorised encampments by travellers are adequate, Sir Henry Bellingham has said.

The MP for North West Norfolk, said he believed the problems might stem from enforcement as opposed to legislation.

It comes after incidents in Cromer and Hunstanton, which led North Norfolk District Council to ask for more power to act.

Hunstanton businessman Jason Smith said in an open letter to Sir Henry that he believed the solution would be new, clearer legislation which was “properly enforced”.

But Sir Henry said: “I think it was a major problem at Cromer, and there was a small example of anti-social behaviour in Hunstanton, but existing law is perfectly adequate.”

He said as a consequence, he would be speaking on the matter with Chief Constable Simon Bailey and asking if he thinks officers have sufficient powers.

Last week, Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green – who has been in holiday in France – said he was in “daily contact” with Mr Bailey and sought reassurance from him that a “thorough review” of the police response was under way.