Home Secretary looks at changing trespass law to help with traveller problems

Sajid Javid
Sajid Javid

The problem of unauthorised traveller encampments has been a nuisance in Adur and Worthing over many years, as in many parts of the country.

I was very pleased to be invited to a briefing with the Home Secretary on this issue following a short debate in the Commons before Christmas.

I also arranged a meeting last month with the chief constable and senior police officers following complaints about an apparent reluctance by police to issue section 62 notices to vehicles obliging them to move urgently out of a local authority area when there are spaces available at nearby transit sites.

The Home Secretary is now actively looking at extending the Law of Trespass which was brought in to deal with the issue in Ireland a few years back with some success.

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It would mean the small minority of people who cause unreasonable inconvenience for the community and often leave a trail of mess for others to clean up could be dealt with more swiftly and prosecuted where appropriate. I am pleased to hear Worthing and Adur councils are discussing this soon.

There was a multitude of local issues to respond to at the Shoreham Beach Residents’ Association annual general meeting last weekend.

Along with county councillor for Shoreham South Kevin Boram, I was grilled on everything from the Adur Tidal Wall defence works to the future of Shoreham Airport, recycling and traffic congestion.

Well done to councillors Joss Loader and Dave Collins for continuing to run such a well-supported and vociferous residents’ group and for managing to get through the whole meeting without raising Brexit and finishing just in time for the rugby!

On Friday I will be back on the beach where I have arranged a meeting with the Environment Agency to address some outstanding problems resulting from the sea defence works which will be opened later on in March.

Earlier in the week I was able to escape Westminster to join a good turnout of volunteers and supporters of the Friends of Shoreham Fort led by the redoubtable Gary Baines and Sharon Penfold.

They really do a fantastic job and it was good to see heritage protection officer from Sussex Police Daryl Holter and a colleague there who have been so helpful in helping the volunteers to combat some of the mindless vandalism that still goes on at the fort.

The next activity day will be the Easter Sunday Funday followed by the ever popular Military History Weekend on June 1 and 2.

I occasionally turn up with my archaeologist’s trowel but they need more reliable volunteers to help with all sorts of activities at the fort so do get in touch if you are interested in helping.

If you would like to get in touch with me, please write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or email me at loughtont@parliament.uk

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