Message issued on behalf of Inspector Stephen Clewlow:
“I am aware that there have been a number of reports from local residents about the presence of an unauthorised encampment in Burnham today (10/8).
Thames Valley Police received a report shortly after 6pm that an unauthorised encampment had been set up on a green in Grenville Close.
We are working to contact our key partner agencies, including the local authority, to address the issue.
The responsibility and legal powers for dealing with unauthorised encampments rests with a number of agencies and the landowner.
There are also a number of powers which the police can use, wherever it is necessary and proportionate to do so:
- under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act the police have powers to move unauthorised encampments from the land. Specific criteria and aggravating factors need to be present for this power to be applied. This prevents an offender re-entering the specified area of land as a trespasser within the next three months. The legislation does not cover other land in the area and there is no police power to prevent movement onto other land in the local area.
- under Section 62 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act the police have powers to direct unauthorised encampments to designated council sites.
There are also police powers in relation to crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour which we will use if evidence of criminal offences being committed exists.
Additional resources to provide visible reassurance to the community are now in place to deal with any police-related matters. The neighbourhood team is engaging closely with the local community to provide reassurance.
We will also work with our partners to support them in exercising their powers such as fly tipping and environmental health issues.
If you do witness any crime, disorder or anti-social behaviour please report it to us using the following methods:
Report a crime or incident online at https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/
101 - non-emergency for reporting something that does not require an immediate police response
999 – for a crime or incident happening at that time and requiring an immediate police response.”