Bournemouth council: how we're tackling issue of unauthorised travellers camps (From Bournemouth Echo)
When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Bournemouth council: how we're tackling issue of unauthorised travellers camps
BOURNEMOUTH council has adopted a strategy of prevention when it comes to unauthorised travellers camps.
Although it has to manage camps that do make it onto its public land like any other council or landowner, it is a policy of security that comes first and foremost.
Andy McDonald, parks manager at Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “We’ve got various sources of information about travellers movements and that includes the police and neighbouring authorities.
“We have a rough idea of where the major issues are and we have a community that lets us know quite rapidly.”
Once information is received, it is spread quickly.
- Frightened mum attacked by dog
- Residents form 'human barricade' after travellers move onto Branksome Rec
- Steam Fair boss: our transit camp is not a long term solution for travellers
- Councils have "completely failed us", say travellers
- Councils should act faster over illegal traveller sites, says government
- Police commissioner Martyn Underhill calls for changes to traveller laws
- UPDATED: Temporary camp set up to ease illegal occupations
- PICTURES: Travellers leave Broadstone Rec - but look what they left behind
- Travellers on the move: Goodbye Broadstone Rec, hello Haskells
- UPDATED: Turlin Moor travellers move on to Canford Heath
- Meeting planned to tackle traveller problem
- No-go area: call for crisis talks as travellers take over beauty spots
- Councillors call for more laws to deal with travellers after "unacceptable behaviour" closes Pelhams Park leisure centre
- No defences: Anger as travellers move around leaving councils facing battle to stop them
- UPDATED: Travellers moved on from Slades Farm and Baiter - but turn up at Pelhams and Whitecliff instead
- UPDATED: Turlin Moor and Slades Farm play host to travellers
- We'll make sure travellers don't return after "invasion", say residents
- Council admits to making mistakes over handling of West Parley travellers
- UPDATED: Police close play area at Whitecliff after excrement found on play equipment
- Traveller child's knife death threat to gran
Mr McDonald added: “A text goes out to all parts of the council and it is basically to lock down.
“That’s making sure gates are locked and height barriers are in place and so on. We can normally get the borough locked down within about 10 minutes. If we go into lock down then somewhere like King’s Park will be managed as to who goes in and out.
“That does work a lot of the time and we probably prevent about 50 per cent.”
It has worked to an extent this year, with council leaders saying there have been fewer incursions on public land in Bournemouth.
But, as Mr McDonald says, if a group wants to get into somewhere they usually will – particularly those who come to the area to work and carry heavy tools.
He added: “If we get to an encampment happening then it becomes a matter of management.
“Riggs Gardens (at Turbary Common, Wallisdown) is a classic case. We have to keep access for emergency services as it’s a high risk fire area.
“Most of our spaces are used by the public for community events.
“Our methods are there to slow the process down. I think we started putting in protection methods 10 years ago and we revisited our site defences in that time.
“It started with high-security gates and bunding and we’re now up to things where we have high tensions gates and barriers with shielded padlocks.
“After a group has gone we will review the security of a site.
“We have concentrated on high profile sites like Queen’s Park and King’s Park and we have learnt our lessons with the measures we have put in there.
“There are more than 1,000 hectares – 25 per cent of the borough – that is public open space and we have to defend that with 70 staff.
“It can look to the average person on the street that not much is happening because it’s a legal process. If they have left, more often than not it’s because of the process we have followed.
“The security does help with the community, because they feel we’re taking it seriously and there is some reassurance.”
Please note: Any racially offensive term, or any comment inciting violence or hatred is in breach of our terms and conditions and will result in your account being suspended without notice. Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are legally recognised as ethnic groups, and protected by the Race Relations Act. Please do not use the term gypsies unless you are certain that the group you are referring to are Romany Gypsies. Thanks for your co-operation.
Comments are closed on this article.