Groundhog Day as travellers return to the Manorway

LAST night (Thursday 4 August), Thurrock Council was made aware of a large unauthorised encampment which had settled in Aveley.

Within a couple of hours, Essex Police with support from Thurrock Council, had successfully moved the encampment on using section 61 powers.

Since then, the encampment of around 30 vehicles moved to Kilverts Field in Grays.

Officers and councillors, including Leader of the Council, was onsite from 9am this morning (Friday 5 August) supporting police action to evict them from the playing field using the same police powers.

The encampment moved from Kilverts field to the Manorway in Corringham this afternoon.

Thurrock Council understands that Essex Police intends, again, to use the same powers to move the encampment on for a third time in 24 hours.

Cllr Rob Gledhill, Leader of the Council spoke after two successful evictions in 12 hours.

He said: “Since Monday’s (1 August) meeting with senior police officials we have seen a large encampment use multiple areas in Thurrock as their own.

“I’m incredibly pleased to see Essex Police use their powers to move them on. It is resource intensive, it is costly and ultimately they just are moving to different areas – but what we are demonstrating is that Thurrock is not the soft touch it once was.

“I would like to commend the police for their work last night, today and this evening – it goes to show that when the conditions and thresholds are met – the current law is workable.

He added: “I will be writing to our two MPs calling for a review in the law to both ensure that travellers are not able to move from place to place of public land and that open spaces are protected from this unlawful activity.”

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