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9th Dec, 2021

Calling for answers on ‘invasion’ response

Rob George 21st Aug, 2021

A FORMER Mayor of Pershore has demanded answers from West Mercia Police over last month’s traveller ‘invasion’ of Abbey Park.

Coun Charles Tucker has written to force Chief Constable Anthony Bangham to seek an explanation for its handling of occupation of the picturesque park.

The incursion sparked anger from residents about a large number of caravans parked at the public park in the centre of the town.

Instances of threatening behaviour to residents, excessive noise and petty theft were all reported and saw Wychavon District Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the town’s MP Harriett Baldwin all make their voices heard.

“Many people in the town felt dissatisfied with the way police responded to the incursion, which felt more like an invasion,” Coun Tucker said.

“There were many public order incidents on the park and in the High Street and numerous examples of anti-social behaviour during the incursion, which lasted almost a week. These affected residents and businesses alike.”

“I have visited many of the shops, restaurants and businesses affected and read pages of complaint on Facebook from local residents.

“One theme coming through loud and clear was the lack of an effective police presence in the town during the week of the incursion – the second within a month.”

Coun Tucker acknowledged complaints over the apparent lack of action to deter the incursion onto Abbey Park and the police’s ‘vigorous’ efforts to prevent access onto land at Eckington when the travellers finally departed.

“In both cases I believe the police had advance notice of when the convoy would be moving but the response was very different. Hats off to them for what they did in Eckington but why didn’t Pershore get the same attention,” he said.

“These questions do need to be answered but to date all I’ve had is a holding reply saying they have been referred to the local Superintendent.”

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