Many residents and park users have been asking about the unauthorised encampment in Westminster Park by a group of travellers who arrived on Sunday, 3 July.
The matter was reported promptly to Cheshire West and Chester Council and to the police who are actively dealing with it. Notice has already been served on the occupants to vacate the land by Tuesday, 5 July. If this is not carried out, the Council will apply to Chester Magistrates Court for an eviction hearing.
In reply to a number of questions, trespass on land is not a criminal offence and has to be dealt with through well established civil processes. The removal of trespassers is the responsibility of the landowners and the role of the police is to preserve the peace and prevent crime.
Two councils that we are aware of have produced general Q&A statements. These can be found at:
Cheshire East: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/housing/strategic_housing/gypsies_and_travellers.aspx
Equivalent documents have not been found on the Cheshire West and Chester website but the same general principles apply.
David Guyton – Chairman