Police boss and landowner hail 'strong and swift' response to Travellers camps in Chesterfield

Derbyshire’s police and crime commissioner has praised the ‘strong and swift’ response to illegal Traveller encampments on the edge of Chesterfield.

Friday, 22nd April 2022, 12:15 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd April 2022, 2:54 pm

A group of caravans set up camp first at The Avenue in Wingerworth and then just two miles away on playing fields off Langer Lane, also in Wingerworth, over the last week.

PCC Angelique Foster says a dedicted task force, which is being piloted in North East Derbyshire, has helped councils, police and other agencies to respond quickly to the issues created by illegal encampments.

Chesterfield Borough Council is now taking part in the task force as Langer Lane falls across the borough boundary.

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Derbyshire PCC Angelique Foster has praised the response to illegal Traveller camps in Chesterfield.

The commissioner said: “I’m pleased to see all relevant partners working together to agree a proactive and unified approach to tackling this illegal encampment.

"We are now working with Chesterfield Borough Council to continue the good work and tackle the problem swiftly.

“Illegal encampments cause significant concern amongst our communities and we must respond accordingly and tackle the issue strongly and swiftly.

"This is an issue that impacts on more than one agency and it is critical we implement a coordinated response.”

Charles Langtree, of The Land Trust, who is local agent for the landowner of the car park in The Avenue, said it was important to make the site more secure.

“This task force has been a revelation in bringing together the support from multiple agencies and coordinating the efforts to reduce the impacts of the event,” he said.

“We are working on ensuring the site is more secure, but as you will know this does not always prevent determined incursions like this.

“I hope we see less of this sort of activity at the Avenue and we can continue to work on making it the asset for the community we all want to see.”

North East Derbyshire District Council deputy leader , Coun Charlotte Cupit, said: “The task force is an effective way of enabling multi-agency resources to be co-ordinated together to take swift action against illegal encampments.

“This way we can ensure illegal encampments are moved on swiftly whilst also addressing residents’ concerns, showing we will act fast, together, to deter these encampments in our area.”