Essex Police “still working with travellers” off Second Avenue

ESSEX Police and Harlow Council say they are still working with travellers who have unlawfully encamped on grass near Second Avenue in Harlow.

An Essex Police spokesperson said: “We were called around 6.45pm, yesterday evening, Sunday 13 September, with reports of an unauthorised traveller encampment on Second Avenue.

Officers from our Rural Engagement and Community Policing teams, attended and carried out a site assessment working alongside the district’s Community Safety Team.

We continued to monitor the site and working with the landowner, Harlow Council, we served a notice under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, today, Monday 14 September.

“This directs the travellers to leave the land.

Harlow Community Policing Team Inspector, Tony Walker said: “We know that, on occasion, unauthorised encampments can cause disruption to the local community.

“Police can only use Section 61 powers if it is lawful, necessary and proportionate in the individual circumstances.

“The act of trespass is a civil matter and we worked with the landowner, Harlow Council, to try and resolve the matter as quickly as possible.

“Unauthorised encampments are subject to regular site assessments and where criminal offences are committed and allegations of antisocial behaviour are made, we will make every effort to hold those responsible to account for their actions.”

A Harlow Council spokesperson said: “Today we have been working closely with Essex Police and this afternoon the police issued a section 61 notice on the encampment on the helipad on Second Avenue.

A few caravans remain in the town on land at Second Avenue and Third Avenue and following assessments carried out this afternoon we have given them until tomorrow morning to vacant the land.

“Working closely with the Police, our community safety officers will visit these encampments again in the morning. An update will be issued tomorrow”.

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