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UPDATE: Travellers settle in Ockwells Park

Travellers settle in Ockwells Park

Photo from Google Maps.

Update 9:19am, October 1:

Thames Valley Police Maidenhead has tweeted to say it 'continues to work with RBWM staff to assess the site’.

The force was responding to Cllr Phil Haseler's tweet that a Section 61 order should be used by the police to speed up the process of removing the unauthorised encampment.

In response, Thames Valley Police tweeted: “"S61 grounds have not yet been met. 'Serious' breaches of disorder, criminal activity and ASB [anti-social behaviour] is one factor which is not yet evidenced. We continue to work with RBWM staff to assess the site and reports.

"We have extremely strict guidance around these laws from the home office and NPCC. Although constantly under review, this only current resolution [still is] a @RBWM led civil eviction. We also have no provision in RBWM for a site to move the encampment onto.

"We’ll keep working with RBWM and the public, proactively dealing with their concerns, within the confines of the law."

The Royal Borough has said that it is 'aware of the unauthorised encampment at Ockwells Park' after travellers set up camp there last week.

Ward councillor Phil Haseler (Con, Cox Green) tweeted yesterday (Sunday) that 'community tensions are running high' over the encampment, with some nearby businesses forced to close.

He told the Advertiser today (Monday) that if the group is still there now, the courts may have to get involved.

He said: "[The council] issued them with notices on Friday at about 5pm.

"If they are still there today, the same officers plan to visit them, check they are still there and start a legal process through the courts.

"That legal process can take seven to 10 days."

A social media image showing litter deposited in the park

Former police Sergeant Cllr Haseler added that this may be too long for some residents. He said that he would like police to 'exercise a Section 61 Order under the Criminal Justice Act' in order to remove the group from the land.

He has also been in touch with the council's 'communities directorate' team to express his concerns over his ward. Lead member for public protection Cllr David Cannon (Con, Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury) is expected to meet them today.

He added: "In one of our great borough parks, it has impacted [on businesses], it is intimidating, so the community impact is great and I think it justifies the use of Section 61."

The council said in a statement on Friday: “We are aware of the unauthorised encampment at Ockwells Park and have determined that the site is not suitable and as such, we are unable to accommodate the encampment at this location.

"Notices will be served to the occupants this afternoon and we will be taking the necessary actions to seek vacant possession as a result of the notices being served. Thames Valley Police are also aware.”

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said on the same day: "We are aware of an unauthorised encampment on Ockwells Park.

"We have liaised with those who are on the land and the landowner and this is a matter for the landowner."

Updates to follow.

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  • JoeSoap

    23:14, 01 October 2019

    Phil'll Fix It



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