16th Dec, 2017

Travellers leave Whitnash site

Laura Kearns 10th Apr, 2017 Updated: 11th Apr, 2017

TENSIONS flared in Whitnash after travellers illegally set up camp in the town.

They moved onto Washbourne Fields off Landor Road on Friday night (April 7) before more arrived the following day. It is believed some 50 caravans were stopping on the land.

It is understood a gate to the fields was broken open, and there have been reports of clashes between residents and travellers.

Police stepped up patrols in the area and an order was served by landowners Whitnash Town Council for them to move off the land, which they did late on Monday night.

Residents have since complained at the amount of rubbish left and some have even volunteered to help clear up the mess.

Town councillor Stephen McFadden said: “A handful of travellers moved onto Washbourne Fields and obviously then informed the rest of their group who came en mass over the course of Saturday afternoon and evening.

“I am told that following trouble between travellers and residents and incidences of anti-social behaviour, the police and town council intended to serve a notice on the travellers which saw them moved on much sooner than the anticipated two weeks which everyone feared.”

Police say they increased patrols to try and deter anti-social behaviour and reassure the community.

A spokesman said: “ We are very aware of the distress and annoyance that the encampment is caused the community.

“The prime responsibility around reclaiming the land lies with the landowner, with the police providing support through increased visibility and dealing robustly with any acts of criminality or anti-social behaviour that might arise.

“Our aim is to protect the communities we serve from harm and police will take action where necessary in relation to traveller encampments.

“In this instance, as a result of the significant impact the encampment was having on the community, a Section 61 notice was issued by police and the travellers were moved on.”

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