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Police act swiftly to move on travellers encampment

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POLICE have moved swiftly to move on a travellers encampment of around 20 vehicles causing potential dangers to road users from open land near Appleton Thorn, Warrington.

Following complaints to the borough council from local residents police used their powers under section 61 of the criminal justice and public order act 1994 issuing a notice ordering the travellers to move on.

An estimated 20 vehicles, including caravans and trucks, appeared on the grass verges at Dipping Brook Avenue.

Cllr Paul Kennedy, who lives in nearby Appleton said: “The council and police moved swiftly to serve the necessary notices. If they haven’t already moved on they should have gone by tomorrow.”

A council spokesman added: “The police have agreed to serve the notice as this is a particularly large group who are potentially causing a danger to other road users and themselves by causing a significant disruption and obstruction of the highway.”

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

10 Comments

  1. What a bloody stupid place to park up right on an island. The police should have given them all tickets for dangerous parking and obstruction as well as serving them notice to leave.

    No doubt this is another tick in a box for wasting, sorry I mean spending, £2 million on a transit site for them to use when they come here though. Not that they will all probably pay to use it and some will just carry on doing what they do now so it may not solve anything.

  2. Police should be given more powers to move any on as quick as this regardless of if it’s a public highway or not. If they go on ANY land that’s not theirs it’s trespassing and against the law. Fly tipping and criminal damage is also against the law but they get away with that too !! RULES NEED TO BE CHANGED !!

  3. Are they the same ones that broke in and camped up on the old Bayleaf/Smithy’s car park on Harpers Road? If they are then police the should drag them back there and force them to clear up all the piles of crap they left behind and fix all the damage they caused too last week. Filthy people !

  4. Hopefully the following information that I was sent by the Manager of the Sub Regional Traveller Unit will inform the debate on what is understandably a very difficult and emotive issue:

    The role of the Sub Regional Traveller Unit is to foster a consistent, effective and fair approach in managing unauthorised encampments, in conjunction with our local Authorities, Cheshire Police and private landowners. We aim to balance the rights of the settled communities of Cheshire with those of the Gypsy Roma Traveller communities, an issue which is brought to the fore when unauthorised or ‘roadside’ encampments are reported to the Local Authority or Police and the opinions and wishes of the local communities are often voiced.

    There are several tools and powers available to both Local Authority and Police to utilise when dealing with an encampment, and a number of factors are taken into consideration before an appropriate, lawful, and proportionate course of action is taken. Trespass is a civil, not criminal, offence and therefore the ability of Police to enforce powers under s.61 must meet a mandated criteria before eviction can take place.

    These considerations include, but are not limited to;

    • A minimum of 6 vehicles must be present (including caravans or ‘habitable’ vehicles)
    • Formal and documented request for the group to leave the land must be made and any other potential tactical options considered, e.g finding an alternative and suitable location for the group or a mutually agreed date to vacate the land)
    • Consideration given to any health, educational or welfare issues presented by the group – or members thereof – where an enforced eviction would create/exacerbate any health or medical issues and therefore impact upon the Travellers’ human rights
    • Criminal or antisocial conduct, e.g any damage to land or property caused, littering (including human waste) and the tethering of any dogs
    • General conduct—Any threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior been used by the group to the public or landowner
    • Is there any impact on local businesses
    • Is there a significant and/or potentially dangerous obstruction of the highway

    On this occasion, and in relation to the encampment on Dipping Brook Avenue in Appleton reported on the evening of 17th February, it has been assessed by our Unit and senior Police officers as suitable for actioning under s.61 powers, as it is a particularly large group who are potentially causing a danger to other road users and themselves by a significant disruption and obstruction of the highway.

    • Thanks for the clarification Paul and I for one didn’t know trespass was a civil matter not a criminal one. Reading what you have posted though does raise a few more questions.

      1) Why does it only relate to more that 6 caravans? Does that mean if there had only been 5 parked around the island that would have been ok and they would have been free to stay there for longer even though 5 caravans + their other vehicles + people + children + dogs if they had any would still pose a real danger to themselves and others using the highway?

      2) Re the ‘health, education and welfare of the group creating or exacerbating any health or medical issues and therefore impacting on their human rights’ …surely as they are only passing through education is not relevant and wont be impacted. If they simply turn round and say they have parked up because one of them is unwell does that then give cause to a more lenient approach even if it’s not entirely true?

      3) Re damage to land or property, littering and human waste etc….. the large group who were on Harpers Road last week have allegedly trashed the place and left a right mess behind according to photo’s and comments on social media so why are they simply allowed move on and get away with that with no recourse ? It seems it’s the private land owners responsibility to get them moved and once gone to clear all the mess etc up along with paying any costs out of his own pocket. How is that right in this day and age and what about landowners human rights, it’s not like they ask the travelers to break through barriers, trespass and move on for a week or so. Maybe Warrington is seen as being an easy target and too much of a soft touch these days.

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