Travellers set up in camp in West Sussex village

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Travellers have set up a camp in a West Sussex village.

West Sussex County Council said, on Tuesday (June 4), that there are currently four caravans parked at Horsemere Green Lane, Clymping.

"All have been served with a notice requiring them to vacate the land,” a spokesperson added.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Should they fail to do so, court proceedings will commence. We will continue to monitor the site together with Sussex Police.”

Sussex Police (Stock image / National World)Sussex Police (Stock image / National World)
Sussex Police (Stock image / National World)

The county council also said that nine caravans remain parked at Goring Gap, in Worthing, whilst there are another five traveller vehicles in Horsham Park.

Who are Gypsies and travellers?​

Gypsies and travellers travel the country as part of a nomadic way of life.

As with any other individual, all gypsies and travellers have rights under the 1998 Human Rights Act.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are also protected against discrimination on the basis of their ethnic origins under the 2010 Equalities Act.

In 2014, Amnesty International estimated there were 200,000-300,000 Gypsy and Irish Travellers in the UK.

What is an unauthorised encampment?

This is when a group of people with vehicles trespass on land with the plan to reside there without the owner’s consent. This is a civil matter not a criminal offence.

What must the council do?

The council will check to see how tidy the site is, how much it is disrupting local residents and businesses, and whether it is obstructing highways or public rights of way.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The council must also check the general health and welfare of the group and the children’s education.

Usually the council will try to negotiate a leaving date with the travellers rather than having to go down the more costly court route.

However, if this is not possible, the council must follow a set procedure which involves proving ownership of the land, giving details of the illegal encampment, and then serving notices and summonses in order to successfully obtain a court order to evict the travellers from the site.

What can you do if they are on private land?

If they are camped on private land without the landowner’s permission it is the landowner’s responsibility to prevent it and evict them. This can be done by asking them to leave and by starting court proceedings.

What can the police do?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Police will visit sites reported to them and if there are six or more vehicles, officers can use powers under section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

They will take action if criminal activity, public disorder or disruption to the local community can be established.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.