Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce joins up with council to evict travellers
PUBLISHED: 14:03 04 October 2016 | UPDATED: 16:03 04 October 2016
Businesses are backing a campaign to extend police powers to evict travellers more swiftly.
Members of Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce vowed to crack down on illegal encampments in light of a “growing fly-tipping crisis” at a packed meeting on Friday.
Chamber president, Mark Bass, will now lobby the government and the Mayor of London to help rid Barking and Dagenham and neighbouring boroughs of illegally disposed waste. The “enviro-crime” has reportedly cost private firms and east London authorities more than £1m this year alone.
“We look forward to finding a way of preventing this kind of illegal activity, ensuring that we can put a stop to these unlawful traveller encampments which are causing so much disruption and cost to local businesses and distress to residents throughout the community,” he said.
Barking and Dagenham Council will introduce new plans to deal with travellers this month, including giving police powers to take swift action to remove travellers and bringing criminal charges against enviro-crime that can lead to prosecutions.
Speaking at the londoneast-uk business park in Dagenham’s Rainham Road South, Ch Insp Rob Bills said police were taking a more robust approach to illegal encampments and are collecting data on touring vehicles.
But he cautioned: “While accepting that some of the travellers may be organised criminals, others within the traveller group are a protected group and police have to be proportionate with any action they take.”
Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas supported the campaign but added: “It is important to note that the issue is not one with the travelling community, but with a criminal element operating within the traveller community.”