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Unauthorised encampments

When can the Police move them on?

The Police may activate their powers under section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to require gypsies/travellers to leave.

The Police are able to activate these powers where they are satisfied that two or more more people are trespassing on the land, and the landowner has taken reasonable steps to make them leave (and they have failed to do so). In addition, one of the following also has to apply:

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

Any enforcement of section 61 requires considerable resourcing and consideration has to be given to having sufficient police officers available etc., which may in itself take some time to arrange.

Last updated Wednesday, 7th December 2016

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