A LARGE unauthorised traveller encampment has been evicted from playing fields in Bournemouth.

Police took the action in relation to the encampment at Strouden Park by serving a notice to leave the site by 12pm on Saturday, May 14.

Most of the people complied with this order, while officers remained on the scene to ensure the site was fully cleared.

As reported, around 16 caravans and vehicles have been on the site since Thursday evening with BCP Council and police monitoring the situation.

Providing an update on Saturday afternoon, a Dorset Police spokesperson said: “As a result of this work, the group was served with a notice under section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, requiring those present to leave the site at 12pm on Saturday, May 14.

“Officers attended to ensure the order was complied with and the vast majority of those present have now left the site.

“Police are remaining at the scene to ensure the site is fully cleared in accordance with the notice and to provide reassurance to the local community.

“We take the concerns of residents seriously and will work with our partners wherever possible to ensure we respond appropriately to issues relating to unauthorised encampments.

“We would like to thank members of the public for their patience throughout this process.”

This year has seen a change in approach from authorities through the use of the eviction notice powers. These steps can only be taken if certain conditions:

There must be two or more trespassers on the land with the common purpose of residing and they have with them six or more vehicles, or damage to the land or property on the land has been caused, or they have used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour towards the occupier, a member of his family or an employee or agent of his.

Previously BCP Council had gone through the courts to secure enforcement action, however, this process can often take several days much to the frustration of residents.