Jonothan Moss, solicitor in our dispute resolution team, has successfully persuaded the police to exercise their powers to evict an unauthorised encampment in the Thames Valley.
Jonothan was contacted by a client who had found an unauthorised encampment on his private land and he attended the location within 1 hour of the encampment’s arrival. The police were initially reluctant to exercise their powers, but this would have meant having to proceed with an eviction application through the civil courts. This would have taken at least 10 to 14 days and incurred additional costs.
However, a further meeting was arranged on site with the police the next morning, and on this occasion the police agreed that they should utilise their powers and notice was served by the police that afternoon.
“The law surrounding unauthorised encampments is complex and often misunderstood by many. When dealing with private land the standard initial response from the police and local authority is that the landowner will need to obtain a court order. Do not just assume that this advice is correct. Very often this may simply be down to a police resource issue; and furthermore a detailed understanding of the law and protocols in this areas can lead to a more cost effective and quicker resolution by encouraging the authorities to utilise the existing powers they hold.”