When travellers move their caravans onto a piece of land they do not own, without the permission of the landowner, this is called an unauthorised encampment. This is a civil matter of trespass between the landowner and the travellers, and it is the responsibility of the landowner to deal with the encampment.
If the land is privately owned by a company or individual, the landowner needs to take advice from their solicitor about obtaining a Possession Order through the County Court or by the use of civil Bailiff service.
If the land is owned by a public body, for example a local authority, that organisation may still apply for a Possession Order through the County Court, but must first show that they have taken the housing, health, welfare and education needs of the travellers into consideration before making the decision to take legal action. This generally involves a visit to the encampment by a Gypsy Liaison Officer.
If you are aware of an unauthorised traveller encampment, contact the landowner to inform them. If you do not know who the landowner is, try contacting your local council, they may be able to advise you.
A minority of travellers may be involved in behaviour which causes a nuisance or fear and intimidation to people living near to an encampment. Incidents of this nature may be reported to the usual authorities.
Gypsy Liaison Officer
tel 0300 555 1375 call charges