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Tougher action on travellers approved by Croydon councillors

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TOUGH court action to clamp down on travellers who have set up a string of illegal camps across the borough was approved by the council's cabinet on Monday.

The go-ahead means council lawyers will, as the Advertiser reported last week, be seeking court injunctions to prevent the specific groups of rogue travellers from moving on to any council-owned parks and open spaces.

Cllr Simon Hoar, the cabinet member for community safety and public protection, said that while a blanket ban could not be operated across all private land, the council would be prepared to work with private landowners who wanted to be part of the strategy. An injunction would build on existing powers because it could be granted for an indefinite period, making a breach an arrestable offence.

The new stance was prompted after the council had to deal with 83 illegal camps in the last year.

The bill for removing the illegally camped travellers and clearing up after them came to £128,000.

Labour opposition members accepted the need for a policy to deal with illegal encampments but Cllr Simon Hall said it was important that the strategy did not lead to vilification of all travellers, many of whom lived in settled communities in the borough.


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