Travellers on Southsea Common to be handed court order to move on

A COURT order to evict an encampment of travellers from Southsea Common has been granted and is due to be served tonight.

Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 5:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 5:11 pm
Travellers at Southsea Common on June 23, 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Portsmouth City Council was successfully granted authority to move on a group of people illegally living in caravans on the site, by Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court today (June 23).

The encampment first arrived at the Common on June 17, with up to 34 caravans counted there at one point.

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Police pictured talking to travellers on Southsea Common

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Travellers at Southsea Common on June 23, 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

A council spokesman said: ‘The court granted the council authorisation to evict the encampment after 24 hours of an order being served. We expect to serve the order later today (Tuesday, June 23).

‘The request to the court was unopposed. We outlined the impact the encampment is having on the Common and its closeness to the naval memorial and other facilities, and the risk to the public from the vehicles.’

It comes after The News revealed incidents of anti-social behaviour on the Common this weekend including the desecration of the naval memorial.

Authorities have not blamed the traveller encampment for the incident.

Speaking about the court order, council leader Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘This was not about moving on travellers, this is saying that an illegal encampment cannot continue.

‘I have had people complaining all through the weekend because it sounded as if there had been some really disgraceful behaviour and people were left extremely upset.

‘It's wrong for people to break the law and camp where they are not allowed to. I'm pleased the order has been granted.’

This morning police officers were seen approaching the traveller site.

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