Lincoln council to apply for travellers injunction in New Year

City of Lincoln Council is expected to submit a formal application to the High Court for a city-wide injunction order on travellers camps in the New Year.

The order would grant the authority powers to move along encampments quicker and prohibit them on certain areas of land.

Executive councillors voted in November 2018 to apply to the High Court in an effort to crackdown on traveller camps in the city.

Now, a spokesperson for the authority has confirmed that the council is compiling its application with “an expectation that it will be submitted to the courts in the New Year”.

City Hall, off Orchard Street. Photo Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The council said it has had problems with traveller sites in numerous areas across the city.

In 2016, officials said travellers at Hartsholme Country Park were the “most difficult to manage” due to anti-social behaviour and abuse to officers.

According to the council reports, between 2015 and 2018 the authority spent £44,160.47 clearing up sites such as Skellingthorpe playing fields, South Common and Yarborough Leisure Centre.

This year, traveller encampments have been evicted from the West End and near Lincoln’s Grandstand on West Common.

Travellers set up camp near the Grandstand near the West End in June 2019.

The High Court injunction order would allow the authority to move illegal encampments along quicker on sites such as South Common and Yarborough Leisure Centre.

Police would serve the injunction and anyone who refuses to leave could face prison, an unlimited fine and seizure of assets.

Council leader Ric Metcalfe said previously that the order will help to speed up the legal process and keep costs down.

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of City of Lincoln Council

“I think it gives us a quicker route to dealing with illegal encampments,” he said.

“We have had a lot of them recently and the processes that we have had to go through are fairly long drawn out.

“The sanctions are not as good as you would achieve with injunctions.”

A similar order is in place in the City of Wolverhampton Council area where 60 sites are covered by the injunction.

The proposal has been given backing by Lincolnshire Police Chief Inspector, Stewart Brinn, and Lincolnshire County Council’s travellers liaison officer.

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