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Thurrock residents angered by continual "unauthorised encampments"

WEEK in and week out, Thurrock residents are contacting YT regarding unlawful encampments across the borough.

Part of this news item highlights the mess left on the Kilverts Field off Argent Street in Grays.

One of our readers has filmed the mess left this morning (Monday June 27th) and is clearly shocked at the state of the field.

There is also a film which appears to show acts of vandalism on the field as well.

@ThurrockGazette @yourthurrock ….more!! pic.twitter.com/YwCw7hS9Cs

— Janice Sear (@MrsSpikey) June 27, 2016

We think it all goes something like this.

Residents understand (but are not happy) the legal route that has to be taken.

Persons unlawfully encamp. Thurrock Council contact the Essex County Traveller Unit (part of Essex County Council) who then go to the courts and take legal action to enforce removal of persons from land.

What annoys the residents is that there appears (and we stress appears) to be a less than robust approach to detecting acts of fly-tipping, vandalism, public order etc.

They contrast it with press releases they read where the council or the police have fined a mother of two for dropping a cigarette butt on a Wednesday afternoon on Grays High Street or Derwent Parade, South Ockendon.

The new ruling Conservative group that now run Thurrock Council has asked for ways forward that replicate what happened in Harlow where an injunction was put in place.

However it should be stressed that the Harlow injunction was against 35 individuals. The High Court judge that put it in place stresses that this was very much a unique set of circumstances.

We were also over at Tank Hill Road in Purfleet on Wednesday afternoon where a local businessman was very angry to see that land he was about to lease had been occupied by travellers.

We attended at the scene and were told that both Essex Police and Thurrock Council officials attended.

It could have come to blows but the travellers moved off after a couple of hours.

We did notice that the caravan said not have any licence plates.

We contacted Thurrock Council but have yet to receive a reply.

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