Police direct Shoreham travellers to Westhampnett transit site

The transit site, in Westhampnett, Chichester
The transit site, in Westhampnett, Chichester
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Travellers who set up an illegal encampment in Shoreham have been directed to a transit site in Westhampnett following action taken by police and West Sussex County Council.

On Friday (May 22) Sussex Police and West Sussex County Council went to Southwick Green following reports of an illegal encampment.

Police served the people there with a direction to leave under Section 62A of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, and they all left on Friday evening. A spokesman for Adur and Worthing councils said authorities would direct the group to the West Sussex Transit Site in Westhampnett, just outside of Chichester.

The £1.25 million site in Westhampnett is the first of its kind to be built in West Sussex and is designed to reduce the number of unauthorised encampments in the county.

It is a multi-council initiative which gives police extra powers to deal with travellers, and opened just weeks ago.

The site is located off Stane Street, in Westhampnett, close to the refuse depot and opposite land planned for 300 houses.

It includes nine short-stay pitches, toilet and shower facilities and an office for the manager of the site, and will be managed by West Sussex County Council.

Chief Inspector Will Rolls said: “After this encampment was reported to us we carried out a visit to the site to make an assessment and check on the welfare needs of the people there.

“This was carried out jointly with staff from West Sussex County Council.

“The use of powers under section 62 were authorised and officers gave the encampment a direction to leave as there were spaces available at the newly open transit site.

“The group subsequently left the location at around 11pm that evening.

“We have not received any reports over the weekend of damage or crime.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police added: “Section 62A gives the police additional powers to direct an unauthorised encampment to leave an area if there is space available on an appropriate transit site.

“This power has only recently become available in West Sussex for officers to use after the opening of such a site, elsewhere in the county, in April.”