A group of travellers illegally encamped have not been evicted from public land near to a sports centre – despite an eviction order being granted by a court.
Bailiffs were supposed to move off the encampment on land next to the Jubilee Sports Centre at 7am this morning but the group remain there now.
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council councillor Barry Longden, cabinet member responsible for illegal travellers, blamed the police for the fact that the travellers have not yet been moved on.
He fumed: “We (the council) have done everything that we can, we went to court, we got the court order to move the travellers off the land, now the police are letting us down.
“It is so frustrating, I know that the community is frustrated and I am too.
“This is not our fault, we are not being supported by the police. We (the council) always get the blame but this is down to the police not helping us.”
While the bailiffs actually undertake the forceable eviction, police are normally there on standby to keep the peace.
Coventry Live contacted Warwickshire Police Force and Chief Inspector Daf Goddard said they are aiming to resolve the situation amicably.
“Under normal circumstances, it is the responsibility of the landowner to take action to move travellers from their land.
“When travellers are on local authority land we work in partnership with them and provide support where we can.
“Once a court order has been obtained to remove travellers from land, it is down to the landowner to enforce the warrant and they quite often use bailiffs to do this.
“Where we have enough resources, police will provide support in order to maintain the peace, should it be required.
“We have very positive working relationships with Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and in this case we are working together to negotiate with the travellers.
“One of the children on the site has significant health concerns and is currently in hospital.
“While we appreciate the concerns in the local community we also need to understand the situation of the child and their family.”
What neither party has made clear is when the encampment will actually go.
In the meantime the council is taking steps to protect vulnerable pieces of public land across the borough.
Large concrete boulders are being placed around land that has been targeted before.
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