Travellers to be dealt with "robustly" as two new camps set up

·3-min read
Traveller encampments in Upton Recreation Ground on May 23, 2022
Traveller encampments in Upton Recreation Ground on May 23, 2022

TWO illegal traveller encampments have been set up within two miles of each other as local authorities vow to deal “robustly” with such cases.

Dorset Police are apparently aware of separate encampments in both Upton Recreation Ground and the currently disused Creekmoor park and ride site in Poole, following several similar reported encampments in the area over the past week.

BCP Council say the unauthorised encampment at Creekmoor consists of 10 living units and associated vehicles.

A spokesperson said: “The required assessments have been carried out and the site is being visited daily by the council and the police are aware of the situation.”

Police were alerted to the encampment on Friday evening (May 20) and said officers have been carrying out patrols in the area and liaising with those present, as well as the landowner. They will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate further action if required.

Several more caravans have been stationed just two miles west of Creekmoor at the Upton Recreation Ground, where the town’s council reassured residents they were doing “everything we can” to move the travellers on.

A spokesperson for Lytchett Minster and Upton Town Council said: “The town council would like to reassure residents that we are doing everything we can to move the encampment on.

“Following the implementation of a section 62 notice, the encampment will be moved on to Dorset Council’s transit site at Piddlehinton. The town council will be charged for the use of the site.

Bournemouth Echo: Traveller encampments in Upton Recreation Ground on May 23, 2022
Bournemouth Echo: Traveller encampments in Upton Recreation Ground on May 23, 2022

Traveller encampments in Upton Recreation Ground on May 23, 2022

“Preparations are already underway to ensure a prompt clean-up of the grounds once the encampment have been moved on. Alternative options to ensure the grounds are not subjected to illegal encampments in the future are being investigated as a priority.”

Following liaison with Dorset Council, police have issued a direction to the travellers under section 62 to vacate the site. Officers will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the notice is complied with.

Dorset Council said this means the “travellers either have to move to the transit site or move out of the Dorset Council area”.

A BCP Council spokesperson said: “Due to the pandemic, 2019 and 2020 saw a reduced number of unauthorised encampments than in previous years. As travel increases across all sectors, an increase in unauthorised encampments is somewhat expected.

“BCP Council and Dorset Police are working closely to take a robust approach to unauthorised encampments through the use of available powers. There are several legislative options available and we will take a proportionate approach to each encampment based on the community impact and our statutory needs assessment.

“Unauthorised encampments have a seasonal influx, and this has been seen this year and in previous years in the BCP area. Currently there are no plans for a temporary stopping place or transit site. The revised local plan in 2023 will make recommendations on any need for permanent provision.”

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