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Illegal encampments

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

2. The police

The Police also have discretionary powers to get travellers to leave. They can use these powers where they are satisfied that two or more people are trespassing on the land, and the landowner has taken reasonable steps to make them leave but the travellers have not done so.

In addition, one of the following also has to apply:

  • Damage has been caused to the land or property
  • Threatening / abusive / insulting behaviour has been used against the occupier, his family or agent
  • The trespassers have six or more vehicles.

Any enforcement of this type requires considerable resourcing. Consideration has to be given to having sufficient police officers available, which may in itself take some time to arrange. The Police will only deal with crime, threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour committed by gypsies and travellers when there is a complaint and evidence to support it, just as they would when committed by anyone else.


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