Travellers return to Warwick

The travellers currently on Hampton Road.

The travellers currently on Hampton Road.

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Travellers have returned to sites in Warwick.

Just two months after travellers were first spotted on Hampton Road, another group has now settled on those sites.

The travellers currently on Hampton Road.

The travellers currently on Hampton Road.

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 to assess the issue but when he started to take photos he became surrounded by travellers, who then went on to threaten him.

After the incident there were on-going issues with moving on the travellers, who would then move to another nearby site and then back to where they were originally.

After police served a Section 61 notice the travellers moved away from the Hampton Road sites to the car park at St Nicholas Park.

The travellers occupied the car park over the New Year period and were then moved on by the police on January 3.

Once they were moved on Warwick District Council’s neighbourhood services team arranged for the car park to be cleaned up, which took four and a half hours.

After these incidents there were calls for change in how the unauthorised traveller encampments are dealt with.

On January 13 the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe chaired a county-wide meeting at Nuneaton town hall to look at the issues arising from unauthorised traveller encampments.

The conclusion at the meeting, which involved police, MPs and local and district councils, was that a strategy would be created to ensure a co-ordinated response to help find the best solution for the encampments.

Just a month after that meeting, travellers have now settled back on the Hampton Road sites, with the first being spotted arriving yesterday afternoon (Monday).

Martyn Ashford, Warwick councillor, said: “A group of travellers are on the Hampton Road sites again. Measures need to be put in place to stop this happening again and them being able to get onto the site.

“I would like to stress to people not to take the law into their own hands and to not go down there but to leave it to the police.

“When they were on St Nicholas Park car park the council worked quickly to clean up but found after there was human mess in the church yard.

“Measures need to be put in place. If residents are concerned they should call the county council on 01926 410 410 to speak to Martin Rone-Clarke the Gypsy Traveller liaison officer or contact the district council or their local councillors.

“In the future hopefully get a site in the district so police have somewhere to send them and at the moment we have the Seection 61 but nowhere for them to go or to be dispersed to. If we have a site we can take money off them if they leave mess.”