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One arrested and police resources increased as Havering sees dramatic increase in traveller presence

PUBLISHED: 19:51 22 July 2016 | UPDATED: 19:51 22 July 2016

Travellers who set up camp in the closed park in OldChurch Road, Romford.

Travellers who set up camp in the closed park in OldChurch Road, Romford.

Archant

One man was arrested on suspicion of fly tipping and criminal damage as travellers were moved on from Oldchurch Park early this morning (Friday)

A group of travellers had settled on the site between Oldchurch Road and Union Road on Wednesday.

A Havering Council spokesperson said: “This year has seen a significant increase in transit Travellers across the borough. Historically the borough has around six encampments a year, but this year alone has seen 39.

“Not all Travellers who have been in transit through Havering cause difficulties, but there are a few who take part in criminal activities and anti-social behaviour which leads to the damaging of either private, or public property.

“To date council officers have worked hard, serving eviction notices and liaising with the police to ensure that these travellers move on from where they have settled without permission.

“Travellers at Union Road, Romford were served with an eviction notice yesterday evening (Thursday 21 July) and left the site this morning following negotiations with police.

“Today (Friday 22 July) a man who had settled at the Union Road site was arrested and is in court on counts of fly tipping and outstanding criminal damage.

“Travellers in Priory Road Site, Harold Hill will be leaving today.

“There are still travellers in four caravans on North Street which are being monitored, but have not shown any signs of disruption.

“This weekend police have additional resources and hours have been extended to ensure problems can be dealt with if they arise.

“To make sure we do not get an increase in traveller encampments that cause disruption, we are reviewing our strategy and will be working with other boroughs and external agencies to tackle this challenge.”

In the last two weeks travellers have been moved on from sites in Hornchurch, Gidea Park, Romford and Harold Hill.

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