NEW measures making it easier to evict travellers from unauthorised encampments are being mooted by BCP Council.

The authority is considering obtaining pre-emptive injunctions, which effectively bar encampments for specified sites in advance, removing the normal delay between an encampment being reported and a court order being obtained.

The measure is one of a number to have been considered by a BCP Council cross-party group of councillors set up to review its approach.

“This has set legal precedence, in which other councils have subsequently successfully obtained pre-emptive injunctions, although on sites with a known history of anti-social behaviour,” a report outlining its recommendations says.

“It must be noted that these councils had to provide evidence to the court that they could demonstrate they were actively working towards the provision of alternative stopping places, and that a through and meaningful equality impact assessment had been undertaken.”

The group recommended that the council consider the potential for the introduction of such injunctions at the sites most frequently used for unauthorised encampments. This is estimated to cost about £125,000.

Across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole there are about 50 unauthorised encampments reported each year which costs the council £100,000 to deal with.

The review was called as part of efforts to create a consolidated approach to dealing with the issue, with the council having inherited three different policies when it was formed last year.

Several potential deterrents were explored by the council to prevent camps being set up, while measures to manage camps were also reviewed.

The group recommended the current management policy continue, providing skips and toilets where necessary, with security made available in “exceptional circumstances”.

The group also suggested only “limited” target hardening – physical measures to prevent access to a site – be carried out “as local circumstances dictate”.

Its third recommendation is that council officers look into the potential for alternative “stopping places” be provided across the conurbation.

The report also suggests that £50,000 to fund a new member of staff to manage the issue will need to be spent next year.

This was originally expected this financial year but deferred as part of efforts to deal with the financial impact of coronavirus on the cabinet.

The recommendations will be considered by the council’s cabinet on September 30.