General News

Kemptown MP discusses traveller encampments with Brighton Police Chief

Sarah Green March 11, 2015

Last week, Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, met with Neville Kemp, the Chief Superintendent of Brighton and Hove Police.

Simon Kirby MP
Simon Kirby MP

THE purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of a High Court injunction on unauthorised traveller encampments in the city, and the threat of even more encampments in the city this summer.

Following recent calls for Brighton and Hove City Council to follow the example set by Harlow Council and Essex County Council, Mr Kirby met with the Chief Superintendent of Brighton and Hove Police to discuss whether a High Court injunction here in Brighton could make the policing of unauthorised traveller encampments easier.

Chief Super Neville Kemp
Chief Super Neville Kemp

During the meeting, the Chief Superintendent explained that an injunction similar to that in Harlow may make policing unauthorised encampments both easier and more effective. Sussex Police and the City Council say they are watching developments with interest and will then consider whether the use of injunctions could help reduce the impact of dealing with unauthorised encampments on Police resources.

The Chief Superintendent also explained that the police are expecting there to be an above average number of unauthorised encampments in the city this summer, owing to the ongoing redevelopment of the Horsdean Transit site, after which they expect the situation to substantially improve for years to come.

Mr Kirby said: “On Friday I met with the Chief Superintendent and used the opportunity to discuss, in particular, Harlow Council’s new approach to dealing with unauthorised traveller encampments. I am pleased that the police will be monitoring the situation closely, and agree that this could make policing easier and more effective.

“Many residents will be concerned by the prediction of even more unauthorised encampments this year and it underlines the importance of the Council and police having in place a strategy to tackle the problem.

I hope that this warning will spur the Council into action, and that they will move quickly to learn from the actions taken by Harlow Council, which I believe could make a real difference for residents here in Brighton and Hove, who all too often see their open spaces fall victim to unauthorised encampments.”

During the meeting Mr Kirby also raised the issue of antisocial behaviour in Woodingdean and community safety in the Dorset Gardens area of Brighton.