Police 'refuse to move on travellers in Dudley over human rights fears'

Council chiefs say they feel badly let down after claiming police refused to move on travellers over concerns 'their human rights would be infringed'.

The transit site off Budden Road, Coseley, opened last year
The transit site off Budden Road, Coseley, opened last year

Dudley Council says travellers have ignored demands to move from the transit site on Budden Road, Coseley, despite having been there for longer than the 28-day period allowed by law.

In an attempt to move them on bailiffs were called in last week, but according to council leader Patrick Harley the authority's appeals for support from West Midlands Police were turned down.

Councillor Harley said: "Usually once the 28-day period is up travellers move on, but this time they refused to do so.

"We called in the bailiffs but the police commander for Dudley refused to support us because she believed it infringed their human rights.

"This is despite the same police commander authorising the right support to move illegal incursions on in recent months.

"This goes against the protocol agreed between the council and West Midlands Police.

"We have always worked closely in partnership with the police on issues around travellers but I have to say that we feel badly let down by the police on this occasion.

"We always put the interests of our own Dudley borough residents first but unfortunately I feel the police are expressing more concern for the human rights of the travellers than they are for our own local residents."

It is understood that police have received no reports of any crime associated with the encampment.

Dudley Police Commander, chief superintendent Kim Madill, said: "We continue to liaise with our partners in Dudley Council on the best way to proceed.

"It’s always imperative that any action taken in respect of any of our communities is lawful and proportionate."

The transit site on Budden Road was opened in August 2020, an a move council bosses said would save cash as it would allow them to move on traveller incursions more quickly.

Any travellers arriving in the borough are immediately directed to the site.

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