Large Group of Travellers Arrive on Ravenscourt Park

Around ten caravans in encampment set up on Thursday night

Travellers in Ravenscourt Park. Picture: Stephen Butler
Travellers in Ravenscourt Park. Picture: Stephen Butler

A traveller encampment comprising around ten caravans has appeared on Ravenscourt Park on Thursday night (3 June).

The group is believed to part of the same encampment that was previously on Kew Green. Another encampment has been reported on Ealing Common.

The police served a Section 61 notice on the group and it left the park before 2pm on Friday. A spokesperson for Hammersmith and Fulham Council said that the travellers were no longer in the borough.

There was an unauthorised encampment on Tuesday evening - in Gunnersbury Sports Ground, off the A406/North Circular. A small group (about four caravans) drove in first then a much larger group (a dozen or so caravans) followed, though the two groups were not connected with each other and negotiations appeared to be taking place between the two groups about which was allowed in. The police came extremely quickly after local ward councillor Jo Biddoph reported their arrival, having been told about it by a resident who lives nearby.

She said, “I’d like to thank the police who came extremely quickly from Feltham - the rapid response team certainly responded rapidly after I reported it using 101. They all managed the situation extremely professionally, calmly negotiating through some aggressive confrontations and taking the heat out of the situation. They issued a warning asking the travellers to leave by 12pm the next day. In the event, the travellers left around 9am the next day. I had a report from a councillor in Ealing where an encampment arrived that same day. Hounslow and Ealing no longer have borough-wide injunctions so both are vulnerable unauthorised encampments. If one arrives near you, please report it to the police on 101 or online . Please also let your ward councillors know."

There were around 10 caravans in the group
There were around 10 caravans in the group. Picture: Stephen Butler

Neighbouring boroughs, Hounslow and Ealing, both have previously obtained High Court injunctions which enabled them to quickly remove any camps set up on public land without permission. However, permission to extend these injunctions was recently refused.

Without such an injunction the police in Hammersmith & Fulham relied on powers given by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

The travellers arrived on Thursday eveningThe travellers arrived on Thursday evening. Picture: Stephen Butler

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June 5, 2021

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