Praise for authorities after drop in traveller encampments in Peterborough

Travellers outside Peterborough Crematorium
Travellers outside Peterborough Crematorium
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The authorities are getting better at tackling unauthorised traveller encampments in Peterborough, it has been claimed.

City councillors praised the efforts from the police and council to reduce the impact of encampments on residents at a scrutiny meeting on Tuesday.

The number of unauthorised encampments has significantly reduced in the past year, with 30 reported so far this year compared to more than 50 at the same time in 2016.

Cllr John Fox said: “Police have now taken more positive action than they have ever taken. I believe it’s better now than it’s ever been. The officers are doing the best they can in the difficult job they’ve got.”

Cllr Dave King praised the police for responding to an unauthorised encampment in Hampton Vale.

He said: In two days they were gone. Police were over in an hour after I reported it.”

Nine of the 30 unauthorised encampments were on private land, including two at Lynch Wood where affected companies contacted bailiffs.

Travellers also pitched up on the Embankment, at Serpentine Green shopping centre, Planet Ice and Peterborough Cremtorium.

On a number of sites, money from the council’s £50,000 budget to deal with unauthorised encampments was used to provide defences to stop travellers from returning.

Clair George, Prevention and Enforcement Service manager, said the council and police were working closer together. She added: “It seems a bit less fraught than in previous years.”

Rob Hill, assistant director: community safety (Peterborough and Cambridgeshire) said: “The impact on communities has been far less this year. We are smarter around our processes.”