Illegal encampment progress April 2021

Yesterday, on Tuesday 27th April 2021, the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, visited Great Western Park. This was quite timely, as again illegal encampers has tried to setup camp again in Didcot but had not used GWP and left after a few days.

She was joined by Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, MP David Johnston, Cllr. Ian Snowdon and myself, Chairperson of the GWPRA. We had the opportunity to describe the significant community harm caused by the previous illegal encampments. We also had the opportunity to emphasise our belief in the need for changes to legislation, giving Police greater powers to protect our community against this threat. Some of the most affected Residents were also able to personally express their views of the situation to the Home Secretary.

We were also able to show how effective the natural target hardening of the bunds has been, since they were installed at insistence of the GWP Residents. Hopefully the improvements to legislation and continued target hardening will minimise any future aggravation caused by illegal encampments in GWP and beyond.

Our thanks go to all present for their continued support with this issue and in particular to Matthew Barber, for arranging this opportunity to directly deliver the experiences endured by GWP Residents.