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Redbridge Council tries to ban travellers from the borough with High Court injunction

PUBLISHED: 16:34 25 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:34 25 May 2018

The site in Barkingside is just one of many traveller hotspots in the borough. Picture: Ellena Cruse

The site in Barkingside is just one of many traveller hotspots in the borough. Picture: Ellena Cruse

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Redbridge Council has applied for a High Court interim injunction to ban travellers from settling in the borough.

Injunction notice at Barkingside Cemetary. Picture: Ellena Cruse Injunction notice at Barkingside Cemetary. Picture: Ellena Cruse

The ruling if passed would mean that travellers would not be able to stop in the vicinity and if they broke this rule, police would have the power to remove them straight away instead of jumping through “hoops of procedure”.

The injunction hearing will take place on Monday, June 4, at the Royal Courts of Justice and council leader Councillor Jas Athwal said he wants to make the borough a no-go area for travellers.

“This is not a knee-jerk reaction, we have meticulously planned this,” he said.

“The travellers know we have to go through an a,b,c,d checklist before we can remove them and they are inventive.

100 people have been named on the list. Picture: Ellena Cruse 100 people have been named on the list. Picture: Ellena Cruse

“We are putting the power back into the police’s hands to act.”

The leader said litter left by traveller has cost thousands of pounds to clean up and it is not fair that residents have to pick up the tab when that money could be used on other services.

“We will not tolerate it,” he added.

“It is not about keeping a certain community out, but if they are going to come here they have to respect the rules.”

The injunction covers traveller hotspots in the borough which Cllr Athwal described as “moving targets”, meaning more locations can be added to the list of proscribed areas as and when needed.

Injunction notices have been spotted in Mayfield, Woodford Green and at Barkingside Cemetery, with the latter listing 100 people the council are trying to ban from parking in the area.

Redbridge Council said the injunction application is about banning unauthorised encampments across the borough and if approved, anyone breaching the interim injunction could be imprisoned or face a fine for contempt of court.

The interim injunction application has come under fire from several Redbridge groups who are worried that a section of the community is being unfairly targeted.

David Landau of Redbridge Equalities and Community Council said: “We don’t know all the details but out concern is that traveller who have nothing to do with the flytipping and just looking for someone to stop off might get caught in the criminal justice system.

“It affects the group as a whole, not just the anti-social ones that the council are hoping to target.”

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