Calls for change after travellers chaos in Warwick

Calls for change have been made after travellers caused chaos in Warwick during the Christmas period.

Friday, 6th January 2017, 10:56 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:40 pm
A four and half hour clean up operation took place on Tuesday, following the eviction of travellers from the car park at St. Nicholas Park. NNL-170301-212423009

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

After a number of incidents where the travellers moved from site to site, police served a section 61 notice last Wednesday.

A group of travellers then moved on the St Nicholas Park car park but moved off the site on Tuesday morning.

Martin Rone-Clarke, the police’s Gypsy traveller liaison officer, said: “Indications are that the trespassers have now left the county. With the lack of provisions nationally to accommodate 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.”

Martyn Ashford, Warwick councillor, said: “Following the traveller incursions over the Christmas period it is clear that the powers given to the police although adequate do not go far enough. Although the section 61, gets the travellers off site, it also lets them moving from site to site within the district. A harder approach is needed.”

A spokesperson from Chase Meadows Residents’ Association, said: “We have significant concerns on the decision making process that allowed the travellers to stay so long at the Racecourse, the resultant cost to the taxpayer for the clean-up and no assurances that they could not simply return after the clean-up process. If you see or hear anything untoward or wish to complain or make an observation about how this matter has been handled, please contact the relevant authorities.”

A spokesperson from Warwick District Council said: “Most of the group left the car park by the deadline and the police moved on the remaining travellers that morning. The council’s neighbourhood services team then arranged for the car park to be cleaned up the same day. There will be a county-wide meeting with all authorities including the police on January 13 to discuss this incident further.”