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New Age Travellers

Volume 226: debated on Wednesday 16 June 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to introduce measures to deal with serious types of illegal trespassing and threats to the public by new age travellers.

The proposals which were announced on 31 March to strengthen section 39 of the Public Order Act 1986 and to give the police new powers to deal with illegal rave parties will be introduced as soon as a legislative opportunity arises.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the chief constables of the forces involved on the cost of the police operation code-named Haystack over the recent bank holiday weekend to control convoys of new age travellers; and if he will make a statement.

Operation Haystack was the police operation mounted by Gloucestershire constabulary to deal with the activities of new age travellers in its area over the May bank holiday. I understand from the chief constable that the cost of the operation, including the deployment of officers who would have been on duty anyway, was approximately £200,000.