Travellers leave recreation ground but new encampment set up in car park

·2-min read
The Furlong in Ringwood. Picture: Google Street View.
The Furlong in Ringwood. Picture: Google Street View.

AN unauthorised traveller encampment has left a recreation ground in Ringwood – however a group has now set up camp on a car park in Ringwood.

As previously reported by the Daily Echo, at least nine caravans and associated vehicles arrived at Carvers Recreation Ground on Monday evening.

Ringwood School closed to most pupils on Tuesday after the encampment caused a security breach.

The school said the breach had presented a “safeguarding risk”.

Read more: School to reopen today having 'put plans in place' after security breach

On Wednesday morning, Ringwood Town Council confirmed the group had left the recreation ground site.

Chris Wilkins, town clerk at Ringwood Town Council, said: “I can confirm that the unauthorised encampment at Carvers Recreation Ground has ended and that Town Council staff are clearing and cleaning the site.

“We hope to have all facilities there re-opened or available for use later today or tomorrow.”

However, an unauthorised encampment has since arrived on The Furlong car park in Ringwood.

Hampshire Constabulary said: “We are aware of an unauthorised encampment within The Furlong car park in Ringwood which appeared just before 6pm yesterday evening (24 May).

“Our officers are currently engaging with the encampment, making regular visits as part of their routine patrol plans, although no issues have been raised by the local community at this time.

“We are liaising with New Forest District Council to seek a suitable resolution.

"Under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, powers can be considered by police in the following circumstances:

  • Communities are deprived of local amenities; or significant impact on the environment • There is local disruption to the economy

  • There is other significant disruption to the local community or environment

  • There is a danger to life where there is a need to take preventative action

"Following a review of the current circumstances, and in consultation with the landowners, this does not meet the criteria for the use of Section 61 powers at this time.

"National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) guidance to police forces states that the lead role for decision making should rest with the local authority and the use of police powers should not normally be considered as a first response."

The spokesperson added: "At this stage, we can confirm that a previous encampment at Carvers Recreational Ground has since left the site. It is suggested that they are the same encampment that is currently in place at The Furlong car park."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting