Sports clubs left shocked after travellers invade centre car park

"NO RIGHT": Travellers parked up on the Gilt Edge Leisure Centre car park. 361432L

"TERRIBLE" NEWS: Rowan Sandoz, president of Gilt Edge Bowling Club, is concerned about the travellers' arrival.

First published in News Kidderminster Shuttle: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

CHILDREN, teenagers and elderly people who use a Kidderminster sports and community hub have been left shocked after travellers invaded the site's car park.

Enforcement officers from Wyre Forest District Council were poised yesterday to serve notice on the uninvited guests while police attended the scene on Tuesday to investigate reports of damage to a fence panel.

Six caravans set up camp at the Gilt Edge Leisure Centre, which is home to a lawn bowls organisation, judo group and social club, sometime overnight on Monday.

Rowan Sandoz, president of the Gilt Edge Bowling Club, labelled the arrival of the travellers as "terrible".

"We are quite vulnerable here and a lot of the members feel uneasy and uncomfortable", she said.

"This is the first time anything like this has happened and I can't quite get my head around it.

"There will be cost implications from the damage to our property as we have to pay for all repairs and there could be other negative impacts.

"Keeping our club secure is very important to us so naturally we are worried about our fence and alarm system post having been damaged.

"We are hoping the police can help us and it is a pity they can't do more, however we are determined to carry on and hopefully our members will go along with that."

The club leader added that the bowling green was regularly used by elderly members who might feel intimidated by the situation.

Andrew Haffner, head coach of the Samurai Judo Club, which has participants aged six to 70, similarly voiced his worries about the travellers.

He said: "They certainly weren't invited here and they have no right to be here.

"The caravans and vehicles are in the way and they are making a mess.

"Obviously there are now security concerns and I just hope the council are able to get them shifted as soon as possible.

"I find it difficult to understand that when they are trespassing on private property why they can't be moved on straight away.

"Parents of our younger judo enthusiasts will be looking around with some concern and the whole scenario will not be popular."

A member of the social club, who asked not to be named, said the presence of the travellers may put off its elderly customers from attending events and could have a devastating financial effect on the organisation.

One of the group of travellers however told The Shuttle they had had no trouble on the site and the community had been good to them so far.

Comments (10)

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9:09am Thu 4 Sep 14

Poppasmurf says...

It was in the news recently that a farmer got these people to move from his land themselves very quickly by preventing them from leaving their temporary camp. He blocked off all exits to the land. By doing this, they were unable to earn any money by sourcing scrap metal. etc, which is their usual modus operandi, as they couldn't move their vehicles off the land. They soon realised that being kept imprisoned in their own mess was not desirable and they quickly left for pastures new.
It was in the news recently that a farmer got these people to move from his land themselves very quickly by preventing them from leaving their temporary camp. He blocked off all exits to the land. By doing this, they were unable to earn any money by sourcing scrap metal. etc, which is their usual modus operandi, as they couldn't move their vehicles off the land. They soon realised that being kept imprisoned in their own mess was not desirable and they quickly left for pastures new. Poppasmurf
  • Score: 9

9:21am Thu 4 Sep 14

Arsiep says...

"Enforcement officers from Wyre Forest District Council were poised yesterday to serve notice on the uninvited guests...... "

POISED? What does that mean?

Why do we tolerate this type of behaviour? These people are breaking the law and trespassing on private land. Throw them off!
"Enforcement officers from Wyre Forest District Council were poised yesterday to serve notice on the uninvited guests...... " POISED? What does that mean? Why do we tolerate this type of behaviour? These people are breaking the law and trespassing on private land. Throw them off! Arsiep
  • Score: 10

10:49am Thu 4 Sep 14

DAVID1875 says...

Under Section 61 of the Public Order Act 1994, if 2 or more people are trespassing with 6 or more vehicles ( a caravan is a vehicle ), once the landowner has taken "reasonable steps" to ask the trespassers to leave, POLICE HAVE POWERS TO REMOVE THE TRESPASSERS!!! A reasonable step, according to the police's own guidance, is a verbal request from the landowner or a writen request, e.g. present a letter to the trespassers. POLICE THEN HAVE FULL POWERS TO REMOVE! But Bromsgrove Police, after 3 illegal encampments in Alvechurch, Charford and Stoke Parish have claimed they do not have these powers and must wait for a court order. This is not true. I suggest the owners immediately ask the trespassers to leave, tell the police they have done so, then if the trespassers remain the owners must insit police remove them.
Under Section 61 of the Public Order Act 1994, if 2 or more people are trespassing with 6 or more vehicles ( a caravan is a vehicle ), once the landowner has taken "reasonable steps" to ask the trespassers to leave, POLICE HAVE POWERS TO REMOVE THE TRESPASSERS!!! A reasonable step, according to the police's own guidance, is a verbal request from the landowner or a writen request, e.g. present a letter to the trespassers. POLICE THEN HAVE FULL POWERS TO REMOVE! But Bromsgrove Police, after 3 illegal encampments in Alvechurch, Charford and Stoke Parish have claimed they do not have these powers and must wait for a court order. This is not true. I suggest the owners immediately ask the trespassers to leave, tell the police they have done so, then if the trespassers remain the owners must insit police remove them. DAVID1875
  • Score: 7

12:01pm Thu 4 Sep 14

harrierfan says...

its a nice caravan in the picture!! I remember ages ago the council were looking for sites for travellers so where are they now?
its a nice caravan in the picture!! I remember ages ago the council were looking for sites for travellers so where are they now? harrierfan
  • Score: 4

1:14pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Shibdrift says...

"We are hoping the police can help us..............."

I wouldn't hold your breath on that one!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"We are hoping the police can help us..............." I wouldn't hold your breath on that one!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shibdrift
  • Score: 4

5:12pm Sat 6 Sep 14

GlenFiddick says...

Where's Gypsyman when you need him ? With his balanced ,articulate ,well reasoned counter arguments.
Where's Gypsyman when you need him ? With his balanced ,articulate ,well reasoned counter arguments. GlenFiddick
  • Score: 3

7:34am Sun 7 Sep 14

caer caradoc says...

It is always very sad to read so many prejudicial comments about travellers. Here in Chaddesley Corbett, we would welcome them without such vitriol.
It is always very sad to read so many prejudicial comments about travellers. Here in Chaddesley Corbett, we would welcome them without such vitriol. caer caradoc
  • Score: -4

9:10am Sun 7 Sep 14

Poppasmurf says...

caer caradoc wrote:
It is always very sad to read so many prejudicial comments about travellers. Here in Chaddesley Corbett, we would welcome them without such vitriol.
On the school playing field? Or the village green?
[quote][p][bold]caer caradoc[/bold] wrote: It is always very sad to read so many prejudicial comments about travellers. Here in Chaddesley Corbett, we would welcome them without such vitriol.[/p][/quote]On the school playing field? Or the village green? Poppasmurf
  • Score: 7

3:54pm Sun 7 Sep 14

the batshake says...

caer caradoc wrote:
It is always very sad to read so many prejudicial comments about travellers. Here in Chaddesley Corbett, we would welcome them without such vitriol.
So get yourself over to kiddy and hand out personal invitations.
[quote][p][bold]caer caradoc[/bold] wrote: It is always very sad to read so many prejudicial comments about travellers. Here in Chaddesley Corbett, we would welcome them without such vitriol.[/p][/quote]So get yourself over to kiddy and hand out personal invitations. the batshake
  • Score: 5

9:45am Mon 8 Sep 14

caer caradoc says...

Poppasmurf wrote:
caer caradoc wrote:
It is always very sad to read so many prejudicial comments about travellers. Here in Chaddesley Corbett, we would welcome them without such vitriol.
On the school playing field? Or the village green?
Along The Village High Street, outside the parish church or in the car park of The Swan would suffice.
[quote][p][bold]Poppasmurf[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]caer caradoc[/bold] wrote: It is always very sad to read so many prejudicial comments about travellers. Here in Chaddesley Corbett, we would welcome them without such vitriol.[/p][/quote]On the school playing field? Or the village green?[/p][/quote]Along The Village High Street, outside the parish church or in the car park of The Swan would suffice. caer caradoc
  • Score: 1
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