Statement regarding use of Section 61

Published Thursday, 2nd August 2018

Statement regarding use of Section 61 from Councillor Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council

Councillor Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said: “Recently some have suggested we can be doing more to move Travellers on using legislation referred to as ‘Section 61’. Whilst as a council we always welcome practical suggestions for how we can improve our local area, we think it would be helpful to explain how this legislation works.

“Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 provides powers to the police, not the local authority. As such its use is the responsibility of the Metropolitan Police Service locally. Of course we are working closely with our colleagues in the police, always asking for their assistance, but would not naturally seek to advise them on the application of the law. 

“What we are doing to move Travellers on is to follow the the law and the processes and constraints set out by national government policy. I have spoken before about our frustration in how cumbersome the current legislation can sometimes seem. However we have to abide by the law and that is what we will do. We will continue to protect our parks and open spaces so they are safe for everyone to enjoy and will work with the police to deter unauthorised use.

“What would be more helpful is for those that have the ability to influence national government policy to do so. We would be happy to work with them in the best interests of the residents of this borough."