Travellers – Preventative Measures….. Act Now!

The very nature of our business renders our land vulnerable to trespass and, in particular, unlawful encampments of the travelling community. The process of eviction can be very costly in terms of bailiff fees, lost time and the clean up once travellers have moved on.

As the photographs show, our site at Kingsmead, near Heathrow Airport, recently suffered in this regard with travellers angle-grinding the hinges from two sets of iron gates to enter and set up camp.

In the space of just three days our unwanted visitors took to fly-tipping on an industrial scale, dumping in excess of 100 tonnes of building and house clearing type waste. Despite our prompt action to have them evicted, in this short space of time the total cost to remove the travellers and the dumped material amounted to over £28,000!

Please take time to consider – is your site vulnerable, or even worse, attractive to travellers? Would it be easily accessed? Are there items of scrap value lying around unnecessarily which might be of interest to the travellers? What measures can you put in place in simple, safe and timely fashion to prevent an unwanted and very expensive unlawful encampment on your site?

Preventative measures might include:

• Effective gating, if necessary reinforced with sleepers particularly
where gates are otherwise unused.
• Secure gates at all times and where possible box off or weld
locks and hinges to limit access and thwart attack.
• A combination of bunds, trenches and chicanes are inexpensive
measures that can prevent access to outsized vehicles and in
particular trailers and caravans.
• Ensure old plant and scrap is
disposed of appropriately or at
least positioned out of sight.

The law in relation to the removal of trespassers occupying land is complicated and seeks to balance the rights of both the land owner and the alleged trespassers. If you become aware of trespassers occupying or attempting to occupy your site, prompt action is vital.

In the first instance make a note of the numbers of people and vehicles involved and any damage that has been caused to gain entry. Inform the local police and CEMEX security. Do not confront the travellers except to politely point out they are on private land and request them to leave. Under no circumstances should staff engage in any negotiations for travellers to leave by an agreed time.