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Unauthorised Encampments - General Police Action
An MDIS incident log will be created in every instance and the Duty Officer will be informed. The incident log should include the following information:
- date campers arrived at the location,
- how the campers entered the land,
- how many caravans and vehicles are present and their registration numbers,
- the exact location of the encampment,
- details of livestock (horses etc) and dogs present,
- what steps, if any, have been taken locally to get the campers to leave,
- the identify of the land owner and if they have been informed,
- what steps are being taken to secure the remainder of the property while the campers are present,
- is there anything especially valuable, sensitive or dangerous on the site (toxic waste, powers or gas installations etc),
- information of any immediate health or welfare needs,
- what steps will be taken to secure the premises once the travellers leave,
- all calls from the public and/or complaints concerning the conduct of the campers (including incidents of verbal-abuse and anti-social behaviour) will be recorded on the MDIS log, in order to create a running and complete record,
- the T.E.O will keep the police informed of relevant developments and/or infringements which will be recorded on the log
The OCU duty Superintendent will be informed when the initial report is confirmed.
The OCUs Local Intelligence Officer (L.I.O) will prepare an intelligence package from which the T.E.O will be provided with information.
Ensure that the Local Authority (in respect of Council owned land) or the owner (in respect of privately owned land) has been informed and has directed the campers to leave. Documentary evidence a statement or copy notice) MUST be obtained.
A police officer not below the rank of Inspector should attend the location in order to serve a notice under Section 61. When serving the notices, it is good practice to video record the service of each document and to record footage of the site in general but paying particular attention to the persons present and the number and condition of vehicles.
Inform any person who alleges welfare needs that their situation will be considered. The Police will liaise with the Local Authority.
When giving notice to leave a reasonable time will be allowed. Logistical difficulties will be taken into account. It is not appropriate to order campers to leave in the middle of the night; as a guide 24 hours notice should be sufficient.
Once notices have been served, solicitors representing the campers may become involved. Their involvement should not delay the Police operation; a detailed log of all communications should be kept.
Campers may have already planned where they intend to move to; the Police should seek to establish this location and ensure that the owners of potentially vulnerable sites are informed. Similarly surrounding OCUs and, if relevant, other forces should be made aware of any possible direction of travel.
On the day of the operation, consider sending Officers to the site at an early stage to monitor any movements.
Consideration should be given to video recording the operational briefing.Ensure vehicles that have tow and/or lift capability are available and that provision has been made for the secure storage of recovered or seized vehicles.
Liaise with the Local Authority (in the case of Council owned land) or the owner (in the case of privately owned land) to ensure that the site can be made secure once removal has been effected.