As more Travellers arrive in Bakewell, Sarah Dines MP is lobbying the Council to find a solution to illegal Traveller encampments in Derbyshire Dales as soon as possible.
Sarah Dines said, ‘I have been informed by residents that further Traveller families have arrived in Bakewell and there are accusations of criminal damage on the Showground. I raise the issue of Travellers to the council on a regular basis and on Monday I had a meeting where this topic featured heavily. The Council have a legal duty to the designated homeless Traveller family in Derbyshire Dales and I am pleased that the Council are working towards a permanent site as required by law.
Criminal damage should not be and will not be tolerated and anyone that causes damage to our area, should know that this is not acceptable. I urge all residents that witness criminal activities in any situation to contact the police.
I am pleased that the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill will also give police the powers they need to tackle illegal encampments swiftly and effectively. This has especially been as issue around Bakewell, Ashbourne and Matlock where illegal encampments have occurred repeatedly. This new offence will enable the police to fine or arrest those residing, without permission, on private or public land, in vehicles, in order to stop significant disruption, distress or harm being caused to the law-abiding majority. I have listened to my constituents and I know that these actions are welcomed and will have a positive impact on their lives. To be clear, those from the Travelling community that the Council owe a duty to, will continue to have access to support and in the future a permanent site will be provided, as required by law. The Council must provide a permanent Traveller site, in not doing so they are failing travellers and residents alike.
I am writing to the District Council again today to establish what their short and medium-term plans are, with regard to the travellers, and to enquire about the accusations of criminal damage on Bakewell Showground.’