BARNSLEY Council has bumped up the hours of its gypsy traveller enforcement officer due to increased pressure from unauthorised encampments.

The officer is the first point of contact to deal with issues relating to gypsies or travellers in Barnsley, employed part-time for 30 hours a week. A grant from the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is being used to increase this to a full-time position until October this year.

The move follows a year-on-year increase in the number of unauthorised encampments in the borough for the past five years, a council report states, which is placing greater demand on the officer who, among other duties, has to deal with the antisocial behaviour and environmental blight illegal camps have on communities.

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