David Jamieson’s strident comments came as it was revealed the number of illegal traveller camps in the region had more than doubled in five years.
He is now calling for tougher new police powers to deal with the deeply divisive issue.Mr Jamieson said he had been inundated with complaints about illegal encampments, which have cost the taxpayer millions of pounds and caused “untold misery” for local communities.
There were 395 unauthorised encampments in the West Midlands in 2016, which is more than double the 189 in 2011.The crime commissioner held a summit on the travellers earlier this year and the issue will be discussed again by MPs in Parliament next week.
Mr Jamieson is calling for more transit sites, tougher powers for police, better protection for businesses and injunctions that cover larger areas.But he said officers needed the power to completely ban anti-social groups from the region.
He added: “Currently, there is no easy way to stop an anti-social group from unleashing misery by travelling between and within each local council area until they are moved on.”
He also said transit sites would unlock police powers and make it easier to evict groups adding: “They are proven to reduce the number of unauthorised encampments in an area and allow the police to ban groups from entire council areas if they refuse to use an available transit site.
“A regional approach would also ban individuals for up to two years from the West Midlands instead of a single council.”
Speaking about the upcoming Parliamentary debate he said: “This will be a significant opportunity for MPs to raise the issue of unauthorised traveller encampments and the weakness of policing powers on the issue.
“I hope local MPs push the Government to take the urgent action we need.“My postbag and inbox are filled each week with correspondence from local resident’s concerned about unauthorised traveller encampments in their areas.
“There are few issues that get local people as passionate, and rightly so.
“Problems have been around for too long and too little has been done to address them. “But we shouldn’t shy away from the difficult issues, least of all those that matter so much to people.
“There were an estimated 395 unauthorised encampments in the West Midlands in 2016, more than doubling from 189 in 2011. “This has cost local councils millions of pounds in clean-up costs and eviction.
“It has also resulted in untold misery for local people whose lives have been disrupted.“It is a minority of the travelling community that cause problems and have been allowed to give the whole community a bad name.
“However, the anger felt by the public towards that minority is very real and understandable.“Small practical changes in the law would unlock extra powers for the police to tackle many of the issues we face.”