The Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro has said transit sites providing temporary stopping places for Travellers must be introduced in Surrey following a number of recent unauthorised encampments.
The PCC has been in regular dialogue in the last few weeks with Surrey Police and various local councils who have been dealing with encampments in areas across the county including Cobham, Guildford, Woking, Godstone, Spelthorne and Earlswood.
The use of transit sites providing temporary stopping places with proper facilities have proved successful in other areas of the country – but there are currently none in Surrey.
The PCC has now submitted a response to a government consultation on unauthorised encampments calling for the shortage of transit sites and lack of accommodation provision to be urgently addressed.
The joint response has been sent on behalf of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and gives views on issues such as police powers, community relations and working with local authorities. The PCC is the APCC national lead for Equalities, Diversity and Human Rights which includes Gypsies, Roma and Travellers (GRT).
The submission can be viewed in full by clicking here.
The PCC said he met last year with various borough council leaders and wrote to the Chair of the Surrey Leaders Group regarding transit sites but has been frustrated by the lack of progress. He is now writing to all MPs and council leaders in Surrey to ask for their support in the urgent provision of sites in the county.
He said: “This summer has so far seen unauthorised encampments at a number of locations across Surrey which has inevitably caused some disruption and concern to local communities and increased the strain on police and local authority resources.