Advice from Mark Evans if you find Travellers on your outfield ……
If there is no damage as the travellers gain access to the land then the Police will not usually do anything more than speak to them. If damage does take place then the Police will remove them.
Each local council will have a traveller relation, they will usually make contact the next morning as the Police feedback to them. They will usually attend site and speak to the travellers. On each occasion I’ve been involved you get a similar story – the travellers have no money, they will only be there for s few days while they wait for the DSS, they just need money for the ferry (sometimes £500, sometimes £1000) so if somebody wants to give them that then they can be away even sooner.
The advice from Police, Council and Bailiffs is always DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY MONEY. The one golf club I know of that did pay travellers to leave had another group of travellers within six months.
In our case, after the travellers had spoken to the council and said they were staying for a few days I instructed Bailiffs to serve an eviction notice on them. This happened Monday lunchtime and the travellers had until Tuesday 7.00pm to leave. They actually went around 7.30. Had they not left I had Bailiffs arranged for Wednesday morning to physically remove them.
As a policy when I’ve had travellers on site at Clubs, I’ve advised the Clubs to have overnight security. We had two security guards on site for the two nights and also had them around when the Club was unoccupied. Their instruction is to call the Police if they see damage occur and to block any entrance way. This way you are not illegally detaining someone on site as security can allow people to leave at any time but you do not run the risk of any further travellers joining the group.
The cost of involving Bailiffs can be at least £1,000. The cost of a 5 bar gate £300 – might be a good investment if there are Travellers in your area.