Council leader calls on residents to help battle encampments

THURROCK Council leader Cllr Rob Gledhill has called on local people to help combat illegal Traveller incursions in the borough.

He was speaking after Essex Police and the council took action that led to a large encampment at Blackshots being evicted within 24 hours.

An incursion of 16 vehicles was reported to the council at approximately 9pm on Monday 8 July when they set up an unauthorised encampment on King George V memorial play field by Blackshots Leisure Centre.

A statement from Thurrock Council says: “By working closely with the council and the Essex Countywide Traveller Unit (ECTU), Essex Police were able to issue a Section 61 notice ensuring the encampment officially vacated the site before the end of Tuesday, 9 July.”

Cllr Gledhill added: “We take a robust approach to dealing with illegal incursions using all possible means to either prevent them being set up or moving them on as quickly as the law allows.

“The council is seeking a borough-wide injunction which aims to protect areas and vulnerable pieces of land that are targeted by illegal encampments. The council is awaiting a date at the High Court to progress this.

“With the help of our residents in spotting and reporting unauthorised encampments by the police on 101 or through Crimestoppers, we can ensure they are moved on quickly and efficiently.”

For more information on unauthorised traveller encampments, go to thurrock.gov.uk/travellercamp