Let’s hope promise is fulfilled
Sir, Every year, as part of their planning for Appleby horse fair, the police, probably under the guise of the unaccountable Multi-Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group, apply for and are granted a traffic regulation order which prevents parking on the A685 road between Brough and Kirkby Stephen.
The order is appropriately signed (as is required by law) and the council actually erects posts to deter vehicles from being parked there.
The travellers then arrive and, knowing full well that the police will not enforce the order, simply park on the verge and quickly realise that the posts are a convenient source of fuel for their fires. The police have full power to remove vehicles parked in contravention of the order but appear to choose not to.
When the first driver attempts to park one of these vehicles, Mr Slattery’s dictum of “negotiate, influence and have a dialogue” (Herald, 29th September) could be applied and when this fails the full force of the law should be invoked.
Other travellers of a similar disposition would then get the message. To do otherwise makes a mockery of the order being applied for in the first place and brings the law and the police into disrepute. It is examples such as this (and there are many others) that prompt the reaction of locals to the way the fair is policed, and responses such as — to quote Mr Slattery again — “police officers have to be entirely fair and even-handed with all communities” are simply seen as platitudes and not the answers they are looking for.
Let’s hope their promise to improve the way they police next year’s fair is fulfilled. Yours etc,