Behaviour of travellers in Tangmere ‘totally unacceptable’

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A group of travellers who moved on to land at Tangmere Airfield have been accused of defecating in a Battle of Britain memorial woodland.

The unpleasant issue was raised at a County Hall meeting last Friday (July 19) by Chichester East councillor Simon Oakley and blasted as ‘quite unacceptable’ by leader Louise Goldsmith.

Mr Oakley said: “Recently we’ve had a second unauthorised occupation of county land at Tangmere, where considerable amounts of illegal and anti-social behaviour has taken place, including human fouling of adjacent public open spaces – including a Battle of Britain memorial woodland.

“What measures can be taken by county to prevent these continued unauthorised occupations which are causing so many issues in my area?”

A council spokesman confirmed that 17 caravans had moved on to the land on July 12 and were gone by July 17, when a court hearing was due to be held with a view to moving them on.

He added that the site was cleaned and secured with the helped of Chichester District Council, at a cost of £648.

Mrs Goldsmith told Mr Oakley: “I’ve seen the emails and it seems like a very bad issue that you’ve had over there – and I understand there was some very unpleasant language to people who were trying to sort it out.”

She added that the council was ‘very restricted’, being reliant on the police to enforce notices under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which give them the power to remove trespassers from land.

Mrs Goldsmith said: “We have raised this issue with MPs not once, not twice, I can’t remember how many times.

“We will be having them come in again – but I do think there is something they really do need to listen to and something needs to be done, because it’s quite unacceptable.”