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Illegal Encampments and their effects on communities

Published on Friday, 7th April 2017

Last week, Nuneaton and Bedworth wrote to the Department of Communities and Local Government and suggested changes in the legislation to our enforcement powers.

The suggested changes were:

  • to remove the need to go to the courts if the orders have already been served against said Travellers
  • that the Police’s section 61 removal order be reviewed
  • that councils should have the power to serve directions on all land with their area and that the direction should last for twelve months
  • when a council has sufficient transit sites, they should have the power to remove unauthorised encampments without the need to go to court
  • if the transit area is full or if the Travellers refuse to move to the designated transit area, the council should be able to direct Travellers to leave its area and prohibited from returning for twelve months - failure to follow either condition should result imprisonment for up to three months or a fine
  • the section 77 order should be capable of enforcement for the full three months against all trespassers in the order posted on the land
  • part 55 (Civil Procedure Rules) should be extended to take any land in the application owned by the applicant that is considered at risk
  • all criminal offences under the 1994 Act should be arrestable offences and
  • provisions to enable costs to be recovered by securing them to vehicle registrations

"The Police and the Council have had to deal with a dramatic rise in numbers of unauthorised encampments in the borough and repeat encampments moving from site to site. I hope that consideration is given to the above recommendations and action is taken as appropriate."

Alan Franks, Managing Director of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council

The letter was also sent to all our local MPs.