Explains what an unauthorised gypsy and traveller encampment is and how to report one.
An unauthorised encampment is where people are living in vehicles on council land including roadsides and verges but do not have permission to do so.
We have powers to move travellers from unauthorised encampments on council-owned land. When an unauthorised encampment is reported, we will visit to identify the land in question and gather information on the group, including the level of any nuisance being caused.
Depending on the circumstances, and following serving a notice to vacate the land, we may need to apply to the County Court for possession. Alternatively, we may issue Direction Notices which instruct the travellers to leave by a certain date. Due to the legal processes involved, it may take some time to resolve. In most cases, travellers will move on voluntarily without the need for formal eviction or court proceedings.
We have to follow the current legislation and we always try to act reasonably when dealing with unauthorised encampments. Due to the high level of interest these cases can attract, it is not always possible for officers to return calls to members of the public, however all reports are recorded and the unauthorised encampment dealt with.
Read more about enforcement powers on the GOV.UK website.