Traveller Encampments Update

10/07/2020

From Keith Witham, County Councillor, Worplesdon.

There were two unauthorised traveller encampments, one on the Broad Street Common from the Broad Street Side (not visible from the road) and one next to the Cricketers pub on Aldershot Road, visible from aldershot Road. Both were served with eviction notices by Surrey County Council, the one on Broad Street side left yesterday morning (Thursday) with police support because of considerable anti social behaviour that had affected local residents.

And a massive cleanup operation was then put into effect (paid for of course by you through your Council Tax) not only to remove the wood and garden waste from their "commercial" activities, but also specialist cleansing to remove the considerable amount of human faeces from travellers who had been deficating in the fields. The latter is disgusting, but the former as a result of residents who continue to pay cash in hand for garden work etc and turn a blind eye to the consequences of using non-registered "contractors" - genuine ones are listed by GBC.

The encampment on Aldershot Road is still there and still in the enforcement process for removal.SCC is also looking at all the points of entry to see what needs to be done re improved security whilst maintaining legitimate access.  I have no sympathy for those who turn up, force entry and trash public land, not only ruining the land but causing havoc for neighbours. I have for a while now been campaigning for this to be made a criminal offence of "Criminal Trespass" which would give the police greater powers to act.  

Currently it is a Civil legal offence and for the landowner to apply for a Court Order, the police have limited powers which they rarely use. So, can everyone concerned please to write to Angela Richardson MP supporting a change in the law to "Criminal Trespass" which the Government / Home Office is considering.