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More than 50 police officers evict Woodford Green Travellers

PUBLISHED: 12:48 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:04 30 August 2018

Police evicting travellers from the site in Woodford Green

Police evicting travellers from the site in Woodford Green

Archant

Riot vans and around 50 police officers were called to evict the large group of travellers.

Police evicting travellers from the site in Woodford GreenPolice evicting travellers from the site in Woodford Green

Around 50 police officers were called to evict a large group of Travellers that had set up camp on Woodford Green.

Officers and riot vans from the Met Police were called to the popular dog walking spot - after passer bys had spotted around 15-20 caravans on the site.

However no-one was arrested and no crimes were reported.

Police evicting travellers from the site in Woodford GreenPolice evicting travellers from the site in Woodford Green

The landowners - the City of London Corporation - Redbridge Council, and the police all worked together to evict the Travellers within a few hours of them being reported.

The group was able to be moved on quickly thanks to a High Court injunction that was granted to the council in June.

The interim injunction gives the council greater powers to evict those in illegal encampments.

Police evicting travellers from the site in Woodford GreenPolice evicting travellers from the site in Woodford Green

The removal and clean up of such encampments cost the Redbridge tax payer £350,000 over the last two years.

The order is meant to protect parks, open spaces, school grounds and industrial estates in the borough ahead of fuller hearing at a later date.

The ruling also bans 100 named individuals, and persons unknown, from establishing unlawful sites in Redbridge.

Police evicting travellers from the site in Woodford GreenPolice evicting travellers from the site in Woodford Green

Anyone breaching the interim injunction by refusing to move could be imprisoned, face a fine or have their belongings and/or property seized for contempt of court.

Over the last two years it has cost the council £350k to clear up and remove the 52 instances of illegal encampments.

Most of these encampments and costs occurred in the summer of 2017.

Police evicting travellers from the site in Woodford GreenPolice evicting travellers from the site in Woodford Green

Some individual clean-up operations have cost the council up to £50K because of the flytipping of asbestos.

Without the injunction, current central government laws mean the council is unable to evict from illegal encampments without following lengthy protocols and procedures.

A City of London Corporation spokesperson said: “We are aware that a number of travellers set up a temporary camp on Woodford Green.

Police evicting travellers from the site in Woodford GreenPolice evicting travellers from the site in Woodford Green

“Our team of staff on site responded quickly and worked closely in partnership with Redbridge Council, the Metropolitan Police and social services to move the travellers on.

“They left the site peacefully within a few hours.”

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