Busy Defending The Castle
These charming gentlemen of the road set up camp last weekend in my lane (there are another couple of vans unseen in the picture).
I have had trouble persuading the Police that I own the land, the public merely has a right to use it as a Byway to pass and repass along it. The highway agency have confirmed this but the Police do not want to use their powers under Section 61 CJPOA 1994, even though criminal damage is occurring, and so are prevaricating. (See below)
I have officially asked the travellers to leave nicely and been officially reasonable by giving them a couple of days to do so.
They don't appear to want to so I may have to assert my rights.
I may be busy for the next few days.
Section 61 CJPOA 1994 If the senior police officer present believes that: a) Two or more persons have entered land as trespassers with the common intention of residing there for any purpose; and b) reasonable steps have been taken by or on behalf of the occupier to ask them to leave; and either; i) any of them has caused damage to the land or property on the land, or ii) any of them has used threatening, insulting words or behaviour to the landowner or a member of his family, or iii) they have six or more vehicles on the land, he may direct those persons, or any of them, to leave the land and to remove any vehicles or other property they have with them on the land. These provisions are also extended to cover all rights of way on the definitive map and land to which the public has access including common land. A direction to leave may also be given where temporary consent had been given by the landowner for persons to reside on his land and that consent had been breached. The offence occurs if a person knowing that such direction has been given which applies to him/her and either: Fails to leave the land as soon as reasonably practicable, or having left, again enters the land as a trespasser within the period of three months, beginning with the day on which the direction was given. Section 61 and 62A-E confer powers on the police not a duty. Police guidance does acknowledge that the power under section 61 does not require the landowner to have applied for a court order for possession nor should it be used as a last resort. The Act does not define damage but makes reference to the Criminal Damage Act 1971 when defining property. Police guidance recommends a common sense approach and states that damage has included: Churned up ground caused by heavy vehicles; diesel, spillages; animal and human excrement; destroyed fencing and spoiled crops. Police guidance specifies that the dumping of litter and rubbish may fall within the category of damage depending on the severity of the particular situation and each case must be looked at on its merits.