Travellers on Wicor Recreation Ground cost council £3,655 - with 12 tonnes of waste to clean up

MORE than 12 tonnes of waste was left at the site of a traveller encampment in Wicor Recreation Ground – with the council shelling out more than £3,000 to clean up.

By Richard Lemmer
Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 4:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 7:11 pm
Vehicles parked in Wicor Recreation Ground. Picture: Sarah Standing
Vehicles parked in Wicor Recreation Ground. Picture: Sarah Standing

Residents reported at least 15 caravans and 11 other vehicles, including cars, vans and trucks, parked on the recreation ground on Thursday, August 6.

A series of complaints about anti-social behaviour – including men showering naked in the street and excrement smeared across the recreation ground – allowed police to use Section 61 powers to move on the encampment on the following Wednesday.

In just seven days the encampment left behind 12 tonnes of waste – contributing to a £3,300 cost for Fareham Borough Council to deal with the issue.

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Vehicles parked in Wicor Recreation Ground earlier this month. Picture: Sarah Standing

A spokeswoman from the authority said: ‘This included staff and vehicle deployment, waste disposal costs and the replacement cost of two broken locks.’

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The cost also included portaloos and bin bags provided to the site, with a further £355 spent on a court order application for the removal of the encampment.

Council leader Sean Woodward said council staff faced ‘the most appalling task’ cleaning the site – and called on the government to change the trespassing laws.

He said: ‘It is regrettable that these people choose to behave in such a thoroughly disgusting fashion, which included spreading their excrement across our public open space.

‘The sooner the government changes the law to make trespass a criminal offence the better, as the law is currently an ass – trespass is a criminal offence in the Palace of Westminster but not here in Fareham.’

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