Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Essex Police boss pours cold water on “Irish option’ to solve traveller encampment problem

Traveller Blackshots

By Local Democracy Report
Piers Meyler

ESSEX’S Police and Crime Commissioner has said criminalising trespassing as a means of stopping illegal traveller encampments would require too much police manpower for it to be worthwhile.

But Roger Hirst does want extra powers on top of those currently available to deal more effectively with illegal traveller sites.

His comments, which stop short of endorsing an Irish Option – named such because of the power held by the Garda in Ireland to arrest those involved in trespassing on land such as encampments – comes at the end of a Government consultation into the best way to tackle illegal traveller encampments across the UK.

Mr Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said in a response to a Home Office consultation on unauthorised development and encampments: “I believe that additional power would be beneficial. It would simplify the eviction and subsequent prosecution process and increase public confidence because a simple process would give greater public reassurance.

“However, it does need to be recognised that criminalising trespass will have implications on the police resources that would be required to respond. The current powers are sufficient but they are perhaps not as efficient and effective as I would like.”

In the Republic of Ireland, a member of the Garda has power to arrest trespassing travellers without warrant as well as being able to remove, store and dispose of ‘objects’.

A maximum penalty for contravention is a fine of up to 3,000 euros or imprisonment for up to a month, or both.


  1. As they don’t seem to want to travel then, seize their untaxed and uninsured vehicles until they pay for the mess they make to be cleared up, and then make them pay their tax and insurance on their vehicles, if they don’t pay then sell their vehicles at auction. Don’t give them any type of handout as they only take from society and put nothing back in.

  2. Its all about money here the resident’s don’t matter anymore, police don’t have the resources, the government cannot be bothered, local authorites only pay lip service, so it looks likely it’s here to stay until we get the Great back into Britain.

  3. We all know the Police will stand idiotically by and do nothing as it’s to much like hard work if your not nicking a motorist.
    I say take their wagons and sell them.


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