Com­plAints As trAv­ellers move onto city lAnd

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Special Report - By Joel Lamy joel.lamy@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy 01733 588728

Crit­i­cism has been lev­elled at the po­lice af­ter trav­ellers were al­lowed to re­main next to foot­ball pitches de­spite be­ing served an or­der to leave. Trav­ellers had only de­parted Ring­wood in Bret­ton by Mon­day lunchtime de­spite po­lice promis­ing to forcibly evict them if they had not de­parted by Satur­day at 1pm.

A num­ber of trav­ellers have pitched up on land over the past week, with en­camp­mentsspot­te­d­inS­tan­ground, Lynch Wood Busi­ness Park in Or­ton Wis­tow and the beauty spot of Cuckoo’s Hol­low in Wer­ring­ton.

Steve Pur­nell, devel­op­ment man­ager at ICA Sports, said the pres­ence of trav­ellers at Ring­wood had forced a women’smatch­tobe­movedto Queen’s Park in Yax­ley.

He also claimed the trav­ellers had­caused­prob­lems­dur­ing Satur­day’s match against Moul­tonHar­rox­andthat­girls teams had seen their train­ing dis­rupted with car­a­vans driven through one of the pitches.

Mr Pur­nell added: “The big­gest frus­tra­tion is we get a com­ment say­ing they will be forcibly re­moved by one o’clock, but by four they were still there.”

A po­lice spokesper­son said a Sec­tion 61 re­quire­ment was served on the trav­ellers, mean­ing that if they did not move within a spec­i­fied pe­riod of time they could be pros­e­cuted and have ve­hi­cles seized.

She added: “No fur­ther re­ports were made to po­lice about the en­camp­ment over the week­end and they left the lo­ca­tion onMon­day­morn­ing.”

Th­es­pokesper­son said po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing af­ter an in­ci­dent in­volv­ing ay­oung­girl and a foot­ball be­ing taken.

Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil is now ap­ply­ing for a court or­der to get per­mis­sion to re­move peo­ple and prop­erty by foot­ball pitches in Thurn­ing Av­enue, Stan­ground.

The trav­ellers had been served a no­tice by the coun­cil to have left by 2pm yes­ter­day but they had not done so.

At Lynch Wood, the coun­cil is work­ing with the pri­vate land own­ers to evict trav­ellers.

A po­lice s pokeswoman said: “We were called at 11.06am on Mon­day with re­ports of an abu­sive con­ver­sa­tion be­tween a trav­eller and a mem­ber of the pub­lic.

“No threats or harm to life were made.”

Coun­cil­lorJohnFox, mem­ber for Wer­ringtonon­thecity coun­cil, said he had tried to puthis­caracross­theen­trance to Cuckoo’s Hol­low to stop the trav­ellers en­ter­ing­but­wastoo late.

Headded:“If youare­found on­landthat’s se­cure, it should be a crim­i­nal of­fence.”

The coun­cil has be­gun the evic­tion pro­cess­for­thetrav­ellers at Cuckoo’s Hol­low.

Trav­ellers at Stan­ground

Trav­ellers at Lynch Wood

Trav­ellers at Ring­wood. Photo: @ICAS­port­sLadies

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