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Police: We did all we could on traveller incursion

Posted on September 03 2014 at 12:54:43

I write as West Mercia Police’s North Worcestershire Commander in relation to the recent traveller incursion on private land in Alvechurch. 

I want to reassure those residents who did not attend the recent forum with Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid, where my Local Policing Commander Inspector Sarah Corteen spoke of our activity.

I note the frustration, anger and disappointment by a large number of local residents about the response to the incursion.

 The police attended the incursion as soon as it happened, liaising with local land owners and parish and district councillors.

I attended a meeting at the earliest opportunity with parish, district and county councillors, advising of the legal position. 

As ever, we were supported by and worked in partnership with Bromsgrove District Council and local councillors, who were quick to listen to advice on the law and a remedy.

Activity on the site was monitored by your police at various times during the day and night. All allegations of crime were investigated in full.

On every occasion where an official needed to visit the site, the police went with them to ensure they were not intimidated and could carry out their role.

The travellers were moved from one field with the application of the law. On the night of the forum they moved on from a second field – the site is now empty.

I am aware that there is a widely-held belief that the police could and should instantly move travellers on from private property. This is not what we do or are allowed to do, and this response would mean little more than a full-time role for your local police.

My advice to all land owners is: where it is clear that there is a risk of travellers moving on to your land, consider putting in place measures that make it impossible or at least very difficult.

In terms of the law, we will continue to uphold it. Many will feel that the law is wrong. That is not a matter for your police – we continue to advise and act where we should and can.

Superintendent Kevin Purcell
North Worcestershire Policing Commander


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