Rayleigh and Wickford MP, Mark Francois, recently met with Essex Police’s new Rochford and Castle Point District Commander, Chief Inspector Paul Hogben, who took over the role early last month.
During the meeting in Westminster, Mark and Chief Inspector Hogben discussed a wide range of issues. This included concerns surrounding dangerous speeding near Stambridge Primary School, just outside Rochford, which had been raised directly with Mark, during a recent school visit. The Chief Inspector promised to look into the matter and provide an update on the issue.
In addition, Mark raised the issue of Travellers. Last year, the Government introduced legislation that contained powers to make acts of deliberate trespass a criminal offence, rather than a civil offence as previously (something which Mark had been campaigning hard over, for several years.) Encouragingly, Chief Inspector Hogben confirmed that this seems to have had a strong deterrent effect, on the minority of Travellers who sought to deliberately flout the law- and, compared to last year, unauthorised encampments appear to be down markedly across the County.
Speaking after the meeting, Mark said:
“It was good to meet with Chief Inspector Hogben and have a very productive discussion about local issues and how we can work together to support residents going forward. I was particularly pleased to hear that the new legislation which I and some other Essex MPs campaigned hard for has led to a “significant reduction” of illegal encampments, since it was introduced last year. I would like to put on record my thanks to all those who work hard to keep our County safe, and I look forward to working closely with the Chief Inspector and his dedicated team, in the future."