UPDATE: Travellers leave Southwick Green after police action

Fracking protest at Balcombe Sunday, August 18 ENGSUS00120130820075034
Fracking protest at Balcombe Sunday, August 18 ENGSUS00120130820075034

Travellers who set up camp at Southwick Green last week have now left following action taken by police and West Sussex County Council.

On Friday (May 22) Sussex Police and West Sussex County Council went to Southwick Green following reports of an illegal encampment.

Police served the people there with a direction to leave under Section 62A of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, and they all left on Friday evening.

Authorities were made aware of the ‘unauthorised encampment’ on the green shortly before 1pm on Friday after witnesses reported seeing about a dozen vehicles, including caravans, on the open space.

Chief Inspector Will Rolls said: “After this encampment was reported to us we carried out a visit to the site to make an assessment and check on the welfare needs of the people there.

“This was carried out jointly with staff from West Sussex County Council.

“The use of powers under section 62 were authorised and officers gave the encampment a direction to leave as there were spaces available at the newly open transit site.

“The group subsequently left the location at around 11pm that evening.

“We have not received any reports over the weekend of damage or crime.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police added: “Section 62A gives the police additional powers to direct an unauthorised encampment to leave an area if there is space available on an appropriate transit site.

“This power has only recently become available in West Sussex for officers to use after the opening of such a site, elsewhere in the county, in April.”

A spokesman for Adur and Worthing councils said authorities would direct the group to the West Sussex Transit Site in Westhampnett, just outside of Chichester.

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