Mike has raised in the House of Commons the issue of illegal traveller sites with the Minister of State for Justice, the Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP.
After asking how many prosecutions have been brought in respect of illegal encampments involving vehicles on public parks, it was revealed to Mike that only 38 took place in the whole country last year. However, the Minister assured Mike that the Government is strengthening the powers that are available to local police forces to deal with illegal encampments through the Police Reform & Social Responsibility Act 2011.
Commenting, Mike said: “I find it absolutely shocking that the number of prosecutions that have been made is so low. There were just 38 in the whole country yet residents would have wanted to see this number in Brighton & Hove alone. It is completely unacceptable when camps are illegally set up on our beloved green spaces. People should not be allowed to break the law and simply get away with it. It is hard to pinpoint the reasons why the response has been so weak but I would suggest that the naivety of Brighton & Hove City Council and a general obsession with political correctness is to blame.”
Mike continued: “I am extremely pleased that this Government is taking serious action to help local authorities deal with such pressing issues as these and will continue to do all that I can to ensure that our green spaces are available for all to enjoy – not just those who want to have a free camping holiday on the back of the taxpayer.”