Thurrock councillors angry at Essex Police over "hiding" on traveller event in Corringham

THURROCK Council leaders are outraged that during the early hours on Saturday (30 July) hundreds of people descended to the Manorway in Corringham, for the annual ‘King of the Road’ trap racing event.

The meeting is largely supported by the travelling community and involves illegal racing and betting on horse traps.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill is astounded that the event was not stopped.

Speaking on the day, he said: “Essex Police had intelligence of the event days before. Since last night the dispersal order was extended to cover both today and tomorrow.

“I can appreciate that resources are limited, but hiding behind a piece of paper without the man-power to enforce it is frankly ridiculous.

“Hundreds of people and scores of vehicles took over our roads this morning to illegally race and all the police could do was escort vehicles through it."

He added: “Thurrock Council’s Chief Executive and I have spent a significant amount of time trying to get action. We have offered the police all of our resources to support them in stopping any further racing.

“We are continuing to put every bit of pressure we can on Essex Police and will wait to hear what action they take ahead of tomorrow’s next planned event.”

Local ward councillor, Cllr Roy Jones, was on scene for most of the day. He said: “Look, the residents have had enough – and rightly so. We’ve had an unauthorised encampment in Springhouse Road since Monday (25 July) and now we’ve had to put up with hundreds of people using our community as a dumping group and race track since the early hours this morning.

“People are fed up – I know the police are under pressure, I get that – but surely somebody over there should have had the foresight to put more weight behind the dispersal order.

“As councillors – we can’t do very much. I’ve been here for hours speaking to residents and putting pressure on the police wherever we can. But the council doesn’t have police powers and could do nothing to enforce a police issued order.

“We must put a line under it and look to the future and see what we can put in place to ensure this can’t happen again.”

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