Travellers in Warwick believed to have left county

Photo of the travellers at Hampton Road.
Photo of the travellers at Hampton Road.

Travellers that have been in Warwick for the last few weeks have reportedly left the county.

Before Christmas travellers had settled onto two sites near Hampton Road.

Following an increasing number of concerns from residents Warwick councillor Martyn Ashford went to the sites the travellers were occupying to assess the issue but when he started to take photos he became surrounded by travellers, who then went on to threaten him.

One of the groups of travellers who were reported to be on Hampton Road were moved on but some of that group then settled on a site at Tournament Fields and then moved again onto the Corps of Drums property back on Hampton Road.

Last Wednesday police were sent down to the sites to serve a section 61 notice to move on the travellers.

Despite being moved on, a group of the travellers then moved on the St Nicholas Park car park.

These travellers were moved on this morning and it is believed that most of them have now left the county.

Martin Rone-Clarke, Gypsy Traveller liaison officer, said: “I saw the last vehicles off St Nicholas Park this morning so the area is now clear. Indications are that the trespassers have now left the County.

“I fully understand the frustrations around unauthorised encampments and the disruption that is so often caused to the lives of the settled community and we are working closely with local authorities exploring our strategies in tackling the problem within the confines of legislation and powers available to us.

“I am meeting with Warwick District Council and a representative from Chase Meadow Residents’ Association this Thursday to discuss the events over recent weeks and of course the concern about future similar incidents and how we manage any subsequent incursions.

“With the lack of provisions nationally to accommodate Gypsy’s and Travellers the problem of unauthorised encampments is not going to go away anytime soon. Any constructive representation to the authorities will be welcomed and can only assist in minimising the impact on the community as a whole.”

Chris Elliott, Chief Executive of Warwick District Council, said: “The council and police are aware that the encampments have caused much discontent amongst the local community for a variety of reasons. Both the council and the police have though acted within what powers the law allows us to deploy in such situations and as quickly as possible.

“It may well have felt to some people like nothing was being done but nothing could be further from the truth.

We will explore however if anything could have been done better or quicker.”

A spokesman from Warwickshire Police said: “The unauthorised traveller encampment that had occupied the car park area of St Nicholas’ Park, Warwick last week was served a S.61 notice by local Police, requiring them to vacate the land by the morning of January 3rd.

“Officers have been up at the site this morning to ensure the last of the caravans there left as required. Warwick District Council are already in attendance to clear some waste that has been left at the site, and there is nothing to indicate this encampment has relocated to other areas within Warwick District.

“The primary responsibility for the eviction of trespassers will always rest with the landowner, however the use of Police powers has been considered necessary and proportionate at three separate locations within Warwick since the 22nd December.

“Warwick Safer Neighbourhoods Team recognises the impact and disruption that these encampments can cause. We have been focused over the last fortnight in responding to those concerns, and are grateful to local residents for their patience.”