Unauthorised Traveller Encampments

I know the setting up of unauthorised traveller sites can be a nuisance for local communities and an inappropriate development of open space. Many local residents across North East Hampshire are rightly concerned about anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping, and noise related to unauthorised sites.

That is why I have campaigned on these issues since before I was elected as Member of Parliament.

Following pressure from me and like-minded MPs, HM Government consulted on changes relating to powers for dealing with unauthorised encampments in 2018.

In response to this consultation, we presented a petition to Parliament that was signed by almost 2,000 people across North East Hampshire and surrounding communities. The petition asked HM Government make trespass a criminal offence, enable the police to direct travellers to alternative sites within 25 miles and enable the police to act when there are fewer than six vehicles.

HM Government listened and a further consultation followed, in 2019, proposing how they could implement a new criminal offence for trespass and amend the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (CJPO) – the legislation that sets out police powers in relation to unauthorised traveller sites – to extend police powers.

Following this, the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Act was passed – after the pandemic – in 2022. The Act significantly amended the CJPO Act and extended police powers:

  • A new criminal offence has been created for residing on land without consent, with or without a vehicle.
  • The threshold is now lower at which police can order trespassers to be removed.
  • The list of harms that can be considered by police when directing people away from land has been broadened.
  • Trespassers are now prohibited from returning to land within 12 months, when the limit was previously 3 months.
  • The Act also allows police to direct trespassers away from land that forms part of a highway.

The responsibilities of local authorities

In addition to police powers, local authorities have responsibilities to deal with unauthorised traveller sites through the planning system.

In 2015, HM Government published a summary of powers that public bodies have to help deal with illegal and unauthorised encampments. A range of powers are available to local councils, including:

  • Temporary stop notice
  • Possession order
  • Enforcement notice

Increasingly, local authorities are seeking injunctions to deal with unauthorised sites. Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council applied for an injunction against the setting up of unauthorised traveller sites, which was granted by the High Court in 2019. Hart District Council have not done so, however.

Progress has been made to tackle this issue, but I know the problem does continue to exist. If you are concerned about an unauthorised traveller encampment in the constituency, please do get in touch and I will use my ‘power to pester’ to urge the Police or Council to take action.


Dixon Road

You know that I believe the District and Borough Councils that cover North East Hampshire should control development in our area through Local Plans.

Local MP Says Police Need More Powers

Member of Parliament for North East Hampshire, Ranil Jayawardena MP, presented his petition on unauthorised traveller encampments to the House of Commons on Wednesday 13th June 2018.

Almost two thousand residents of North East Hampshire and the wider United Kingdom signed his petition.

Ranil Jayawardena MP Opinion Piece—June 2018

Since my election in 2015, I have received almost 10,000 pieces of casework—ranging from animal cruelty to the Yemen. Almost none have been as ongoing and persistent, however, as concerns over unauthorised traveller encampments and the behaviour in and around them.

Local MP Calls for Level Playing Field for Residents Facing Unruly Travellers

Ranil Jayawardena – Member of Parliament for North East Hampshire – took the opportunity at a recent Parliamentary Debate on “Gypsies and Travellers and local communities” to speak out for local constituents, calling for reform of the outdated law in this area which puts the interests of travelle