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County MP says travellers are "making a mockery" out of Worcestershire
TOO many travellers are coming to Worcestershire and "making a mockery" of the county, according to an MP.
Sir Peter Luff says he is "deeply concerned" about the number of times travellers are exploiting loopholes in the law and targeting parts of the county.
The Conservative, who represents Mid-Worcestershire, says areas like the Berry Hill industrial estate in Droitwich and Ombersley Way are used too often as temporary locations despite concerns about the clean-up costs, safety of the travellers and security of nearby businesses.
He also says Government laws are not going far enough as many travellers often work around the law to stay as long as they can.
"Sadly the A38 is a road that has been particularly popular with travellers for decades, hence the frequency of the problems we face in Droitwich," he said.
"The real difficulty is in legislating against such behaviour .
"When a group of people know how to work their way round the law and are determined to do so, it is very hard to prevent or catch them in criminal acts without deploying a huge and very expensive level of resource from the police or unintentionally infringing other people's rights.
"Society does depend on a level of shared responsibility and this is something these travellers manifestly do not have."
Mr Luff, a Conservative, has contacted West Mercia Police and Wychavon District Council to stage fresh talks over the current powers on dealing with travellers and what can be done to beef up the law.
Under The Caravan Sites Act 1968 councils can obtain a court order to evict them from any publicly-owned land, but only once it first gives them four weeks notice to quit voluntarily.
A group were in the county as recently as 10 days ago, pitching up at Victoria Park in Malvern Link.
They left voluntarily last week, before Malvern Town Council had to force them out.
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