Advice for people affected by unauthorised encampments
If you are aware of an unauthorised Traveller encampment, contact the landowner to inform them. If you do not know who the landowner is your local council may be able to advise.
When Travellers move their caravans on to 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 owned by a public body, for example a local authority, that organisation may apply for a Possession Order through the County Court or Magistrates Court, but must show consideration for the housing, health, welfare and education needs of the Travellers before taking legal action. This usually requires an assessment visit to the encampment. Hampshire County Council’s Gypsy and Traveller Service can provide an independent assessment by a Gypsy Liaison Officer and prepare the required welfare report.
If the land is privately owned by a company or individual, the landowner needs to obtain a Possession Order through the County Court or Magistrates Court either through the use of a private solicitor or by using a bailiff service. There is no requirement for welfare enquiries for encampments on private land.
Anti-Social or Criminal Behaviour
A minority of Travellers may be involved in behaviour which causes a nuisance or fear and intimidation to people living near an encampment. Incidents of this nature may be reported to the usual authorities:
to report an emergency, including immediate danger to personal well-being or property, call 999 and ask for the police
to report anti-social or suspicious behaviour, fly-tipping and other non-urgent matters to the police call 101.