Wells MP James Heappey has pushed for clarity about the speed at which officers are moving on groups of travellers, following introduction of new legislation.
There have been a number of incidents in Burnham-on-Sea over the summer which have impacted community events. Mr Heappey met the Chief Constable and was clear the cancellation of events as a result of these groups is 'unacceptable'.
Following the meeting with Somerset Chief Constable Sarah Crew, Mr Heappey said: “I was grateful to the Chief Constable for her time, and although we discussed other issues as well, I did feel it was important to raise the illegal encampments in Burnham-On-Sea.
“While section 61 of the amended Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 was invoked in Burnham-On-Sea, I was concerned about the speed at which the new legislation was used.
“It is one thing when there is inconvenience to residents, but if important community events are cancelled because of the illegal encampments, I find this wholly wrong.
“The Chief Constable will be looking into the response and whether the delay was down to resource, or the implementation of the legislation.
“I have asked for the force’s interpretation of Section 60 and 61 to be formally conveyed to me in writing and I am hoping we can establish the best way to move forward.
“I want to thank the community for raising this important issue with me, and the Police for engaging heavily in an issue which has long been impacting my constituents. I will – of course – keep the community informed."