Illegal traveller encampment at Evesham Leisure Centre swiftly moved on - The Evesham Observer

Illegal traveller encampment at Evesham Leisure Centre swiftly moved on

Evesham Editorial 21st Sep, 2023 Updated: 21st Sep, 2023   0

AN ILLEGAL traveller encampment causing ‘significant disruption’ to Evesham Leisure Centre has been removed by police thanks to new public order powers.

The camp which consisted of six caravans, led to problems for the leisure centre, impacting both staff and members of the club.

Evesham Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) removed the unauthorised occupiers on September 18 after Wychavon District Council’s direction to leave order a day earlier proved unsuccessful.

The SNT were able to remove the occupiers thanks to new legislation under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.

The legislation empowers police to create an offence for any person over the age of 18 residing on land without the authority of the occupier, possessing or intending to possess at least one vehicle on the land, and causing significant damage, disruption, or distress or being likely to cause such disruption because of their presence.

Reports were also received by the police regarding isolated incidents of anti-social behaviour, including shouting among group members and the throwing of stones by children under 10-years-old.

Wychavon District Council had also issued community protection notices to specific individuals of the encampment, directing them not to return to the area for 12 months.

Safer Neighbourhood Inspector for Wychavon and Malvern Hills, Dave Wise said: “The style and tone of how we police are key – officers should be respectful to the needs of all persons involved, listen to any concerns, consider any vulnerabilities and act in a way that is fair, objective, reasonable, and inclusive.

“However, where local amenities are deprived to communities and local disruption to the economy, as well as other significant disruptions, it is right for the police to take preventative action.”

Councillor Rob Adams, executive board member with responsibility for community safety on Wychavon District Council, said: “Partnership working is so important when dealing with these types of situations and this is a good example of how we have supported the police to act swiftly to prevent any further disruption or distress to leisure centre staff, users and residents in the area.”


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