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Burton police escort traveller group out of the area

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 07, 2014

By Rob Smyth

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A GROUP of travellers was escorted out of the town by police officers after being stopped from setting up an illegal encampment in Burton.

Staffordshire Police rushed to the former Bargates site, off High Street, after reports flooded in that a group of 12 caravans and vehicles had arrived in the town and were looking to set up camp on Tuesday evening.

Officers took part in extensive negotiations with the travellers and convinced the group to leave the area.

The vehicles were then given a police escort to the A38, with special cordons put in place across the town to allow for the operation to be completed quickly.

Chief Inspector Steve Maskrey, commander of the East Staffordshire local policing team, said: "We received a call at around 7pm on Tuesday of reports that a group of travellers had been spotted heading into the town centre.

"Officers were quickly dispatched to the area and found the group on land near to the former Bargates site, off High Street.

"When they arrived on scene two caravans were found on land in the area and others were attempting to join them.

"Officers quickly launched into lengthy negotiations with the travellers.

"The group were persuaded that setting up camp would not be best suited to their needs.

"Officers then escorted them out of the town and made sure they left the area via the A38.

"We wanted to ensure that this situation was remedied quickly and without incident.

"Illegal traveller encampments have caused issues in the past in the town and we were keen to avoid this happening again on this occasion."

It is not the first time travellers have tried to move in on the former Bargates site.

In April last year, a group of travellers set up camp in the same area.

A total of 15 caravans and vehicles took root at the site.

They remained there for several days while officers worked with partner agencies to try to get to the bottom of whether the itinerants were there lawfully or had been given the landowner's permission.

There were no issues in the area while they were parked up on the site.

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