Harlow MP Robert Halfon welcomes the meeting with PCC Nick Alston and Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh.

Politics / Mon 16th Feb 2015 at 04:49pm

HARLOW MP, Robert Halfon has welcomed discussions on the traveller problem with the chief constable, Stephen Kavanagh and Essex Police Crime Commissioner, Nick Alston.

Robert Halfon said: “I was encouraged about the progress made in terms of the problem of unauthorised encampments in Harlow. The Chief Constable of Essex, I believe understands the problems Harlow is facing and has agreed a number of actions.”

The measures agreed at the meeting that took place today are the following:

– To look at scale of antisocial behaviour in Harlow and how Council and police resources can be allocated to identify and deal with it.

– To set out what extra powers the Police would have under section 62 if Essex County Council establishes an emergency transit site.

– To evidence consistent use of section 61 and -when it is not applied – to set out to residents the reasons why.

– To encourage residents to report antisocial behaviour and crime. If it is an emergency residents should dial 999. Less urgent concerns can be reported to 101 and the issue will be flagged for the attention of local officers.

If a resident wishes to report crime anonymously this can be done to CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111 the episode should be reported through crimes stoppers or 999; in all other cases, residents should call 101 and the issue will be flagged in the system.

– A named officer will be nominated by District Commander Alan Ray to liaise with residents on Traveller issues – whenever they are on duty.

– The Police and Crime Commissioner is hosting a county-wide Roundtable on 24 February to discuss concerns relating to unauthorised encampments, after which a summit will if needed be organised in which the Chief Constable will work with both Essex and Harlow District councils to try to find a way forward especially on antisocial behaviour.

Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “The solution to the problem of unauthorised encampments in the Harlow area, and across Essex more generally, must involve close working between Essex Police, local elected representatives, the County Council and local authorities, the Essex Countywide Traveller Unit, and all those directly affected. Police and council representatives must act within the law, fairly and proportionately, but must also continue to enforce the law without fear or favour.

“Robert Halfon MP has continued to ensure that the voices of the people of Harlow have been heard, and I welcome his comments about the positive progress that it is being made with regard to unauthorised traveller encampments.”

Mr Halfon said “Although I have been critical in recent months, I hugely welcome the response of the Chief Constable. He’s pledged that this is a priority issue and – as shown above – he made clear he’ll take concrete steps to move ahead. We will be able to see the difference this makes over the coming weeks.”

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1 Comment for Harlow MP Robert Halfon welcomes the meeting with PCC Nick Alston and Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh.:

2015-02-18 16:49:33

On 26th September last year I was sent a message from 'the office of the police and crime commissioner' (Nick Alston) to confirm that he attended a public meeting in Harlow on 17th September to discuss the illegal traveller encampment issues. Nick Alston undertook a number of actions, the first of which was to 'encourage lawmakers through Parliament to develop a more appropriate and meaningful legislative framework to govern unlawful encampments'. I have seen no action from Nick Alston as a result of him undertaking this action and, although I have emailed him several times asking for an update, I have had no response on this matter. Needless to say, I am now sceptical of anything he says he is going to do.

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