Travellers setting up unauthorised camps on private land can cause problems for your business. It is inconvenient and disruptive for employees and customers when travellers arrive on disused land or business car parks. Acting quickly to evict travellers from your land is the key to minimising the damage they cause and the cost to your business.
I have travellers on my property
Talking to the traveller families is often the first step, but only if you feel it is safe and appropriate. Tell them that it is private property, ask what they are doing and how long they’re staying. Use your own judgement and, if you feel unsafe or intimidated by the group, don’t put yourself at risk.
Do I have to go to court to evict travellers?
It’s often presumed that you require a court order to take back possession of your land. However, this is not the case and, in many instances, travellers can be removed on the same day.
Instructing a bailiff to remove travellers
Private landowners, under Common Law, can evict travellers and regain possession of their land. This doesn’t require any court action and can be enforced by a Certified Enforcement Agent (bailiff).,
A bailiff will typically visit the site on the same day and serve an eviction notice on the travellers. They will speak to the group and encourage them to leave before the end of the notice period.
Bailiffs will attend again where they have not left by the next day (or sooner if necessary) and use a tow trick to evict the travellers.
Can travellers be evicted the same day?
Unauthorised encampments can, in some cases, be served with notice and evicted on the same day. This is beneficial for sites that are open to the public, such as pub and restaurant car parks, where the encampment would be disruptive to the business.
Bailiffs visit the site with tow trucks, post notices of eviction and give reasonable time to move. This is typically two hours, but can be as little as one.
Do police evict travellers?
Trespass is a civil, rather than a criminal, matter. The police tend to only be involved in cases of public disorder or where a criminal offence occurs.
When bailiffs attend to evict travellers who refuse to leave they will wait for police attendance in order to prevent a breach of the peace.
You can find out more about how we can help evict travellers from your land here or contact us if you have an urgent matter.
Traveller encampments on private land are an inconvenience and cost that you don’t want to be constantly having. However, there are measures you can take to make your site less appealing.
When you have a traveller encampment on your land we can work quickly to evict them. We can also offer assistance to create a more secure site in the first place.
Even with additional measures in place, it’s not guaranteed to prevent unauthorised access. There are a number of methods you can employ and these examples are not an exhaustive list.
Vulnerability to travellers and unauthorised access
The first step is to review the current security of the site, as if you were attempting to gain access. Start with the perimeter and see where a vehicle with a trailer or caravan could get in.
Simple barriers or small gaps in the road will not necessarily be effective. Travellers will use a variety of ways to get onto a site.
Preventing unauthorised access
One means of preventing traveller encampments is to build mounds at strategic points. These don’t need to stand out and can be designed as part of the overall landscape.
They can be created from rubble and then covered with grass or plants. The mounds can help to fill in spaces between buildings, trees and other structures or used to back-up the perimeter.
Digging ditches can also work to stop travellers gaining access when used in conjunction with other measures. These can be bridged by the travellers and you also need to consider any drainage issues.
A cheap, but effective, way of blocking access is to use obstacles that can’t be moved easily. This includes boulders or large tree trunks and other objects that are sympathetic to the landscape.
Fencing and gates are another option, but, depending on the materials, these can come at a significant cost. Steel fencing is more effective than wooden designs, but costs more and isn’t as visually pleasing.
When you’re specifying gates you need to consider the type of locks, to prevent them being forced open. It’s also important to check they can’t be lifted off from the hinges.
Illegal traveller encampments on my land
If travellers have gained access to your site we can help you evict them as quickly as possible. Click here for details of all our traveller eviction services.