Travellers beat barrier

Travellers on Jubilee Wood in Bridlington
Travellers on Jubilee Wood in Bridlington

Travellers have found a way on to council owned land which had been surrounded by security bollards to prevent their return.

councillor Margaret Chadwick said more needs to be done to prevent travellers from damaging the land and leaving heaps of rubbish and waste in future.

Councillor Margaret Chadwick

Councillor Margaret Chadwick

“As far as I am concerned they are trespassing and anyone else caught trespassing is dealt with by the police, I don’t know why it’s different for them. Other people have to pay to stay in caravan parks when they go on holiday, why shouldn’t they?

“I sympathise with residents and I am just as frustrated as they are.”

Last year Cllr Chadwick along with her husband and then South Ward councillor, Chad Chadwick, pressed the East Riding of Yorkshire Council to install a number of concrete reinforced bollards, designed to keep the travellers away.

“Obviously I am frustrated. Not only have they gone on site without permission, but it is also not an ideal sight when tourists come in to Bridlington.”

The travellers’ return also angered Bridlington North Ward councillor Thelma Milns and Bridlington Central and Old Town Ward councillor Malcolm Milns.

Malcolm said: “I went down to take photographs and a man approached me. I said I had more right to be there than he did and told him I was a councillor.

“Then one of his mates came and took a photo of us. We are not prepared to be intimidated.”

It is believed the travellers were based at Hilderthorpe Road Coach Park before moving on to the land off Bessingby Road.

A Free Press photographer said he went to take pictures of the camp where travellers surrounded him and told him to delete his pictures. However he managed to recover some using special software.

The East Riding of Yorkshire Council told the Free Press they had served the group with a notice to leave and confirmed some bollards had been damaged.

Despite calls for police involvement Humberside Police said unless a crime had been committed, they are powerless to evict the travellers.

A force spokesperson said: “The prevention of trespass is the responsibility of the landowner and occupier, not the police, and although we have powers to act in exceptional circumstances, civil remedies and local authority powers should be used in the first instance, unless there is evidence of a criminal offence.”

It means the police are effectively unable to force the camp to move on using Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, and the responsibility lies with the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

The police spokesperson added:“Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 provides a discretionary power for police to direct trespassers to leave land in certain circumstances.

“These circumstances relate to the behaviour of the trespassers - i.e. if this were a major public order problem or if there were other aggravating factors - and the number of vehicles on the land.”

A number of caravans is are already believed to have left the site.