Letter to Government over 'intimidation, criminal damage and littering' near traveller camps in Northampton

Traveller encampments park on green spaces illegally.
Traveller encampments park on green spaces illegally.

A Northampton MP has written to the Home Secretary to bring attention to the town's problems with traveller encampments.

Michael Ellis, MP for Northampton North, says residents have complained to him about camps of caravans and motorhomes parking on the town's green spaces and rec grounds.

Michael Ellis MP has written to the Government to raise awareness of Northampton's traveller encampment problems.

Michael Ellis MP has written to the Government to raise awareness of Northampton's traveller encampment problems.

This includes a recent group who appeared on the Racecourse while contractors for Northampton Town Festival were trying to start work for the upcoming fair.

Mr Ellis says he is now raising the issue with the Government after hearing reports of "intimidation, criminal damage and littering".

It comes after Northampton Borough Council installed wooden bollards around both Abington Park and the Racecourse.

In a newsletter to residents, Mr Ellis wrote: "It is clear that more has to be done. The police do have robust powers to be able to deal with such encampments [...] but it is important that these powers are used appropriately.

"I have now written to the Home Secretary Sajid Javid MP, the Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police to raise the issue of travellers and to see what can be done to resolve the matter."

Minister of State for Policing Nick Hurd replied to Mr Ellis on June 27 and wrote: "The Government is aware of the challenges many locations across the country face when tackling unauthorised encampments.

"The distress local communities face as a consequence of these encampments is unacceptable [...] The response to unauthorised traveller sites requires a locally driven, multi-agency response, supported by both local authorities and the police."

A Government consultation on how to deal with traveller encampments was launched in April. The results are expected to be published within the year.

Travellers encampments can be reported to the Countywide Travellers Unit on the county council's website.