19th May, 2019

Travellers continue to target Solihull parks

Catherine Thompson 21st Sep, 2017 Updated: 22nd Sep, 2017

BRUETON Park is the most recent Solihull site targeted by travellers who arrived at the park yesterday (September 22).

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) is aware of the situation and has said it is working closely with the police and undertaking legal actions to move them on.

An announcement on the council website also said: “When any unauthorised encampment leaves a site we undertake a thorough clean up and also assess how we might secure, if we can, the site to guard against any future incursions.”

Travellers have been making their way around the borough and said to have been causing damage upon entering a number of sites, and leaving behind bags of rubbish.

The most recent eviction was from Hillfield Park near the Brick Kiln Lane entrance on Wednesday (September 20).

The council has asked residents to report any anti-social or criminal behaviour to the police to build up evidence against the group to present at court.

Residents have taken to social media to express their anger over the reoccurring situation.

One commenter said: “All that seems to happen is that they are eventually moved on to become someone else’s problem. I have heard all the reasons why the councils, police etc can’t do anything and have their hands tied but I have not seen any of them demonstrate that they are prepared to deal with the issues properly, completely and for the long term.”

And another commented: “If they are genuine travellers then why do the decide to constantly target Solihull and plague our parks ands carparks instead of seeking land in the country. They are lawless individuals who intimidate and threaten locals where they set up camp.”

The issue of travellers across the borough has been ongoing for months, with camps being evicted from a number of locations over the summer.

They have included Shirley Park, Richmond Road Playing Fields, and Streetsbrook Road and Woodside Way despite trenches being built by Solihull council in an attempt to prevent access.

A petition, calling to strengthen anti-traveller defences followed the spate of unauthorised encampments, was set up by MP Julian Knight and signed by more than 3,500 residents.

The petition calls on the council for a more effective immediate response and a better long-term strategy to protect Solihull’s open spaces.

Call police on 101 to report criminal or anti-social behaviour of the travelling community.

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