This action follows a number of recent unauthorised encampments on council parks and land, which have caused distress to those living nearby and created excessive littering.

"The recent unauthorised encampments experienced in Chichester have left unacceptable littering and destruction. This has caused misery for local residents and for our workers who had to clear it all up, as well as disruption to usual park activity until the area was clean and tidy again. These incidents give an unfair, negative image of the vast majority of travellers who abide by the law," says Cllr Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Culture at Chichester District Council.

"We have listened to the concerns raised by our communities and we are currently looking at a rolling programme of improvements to try and make the community spaces that we manage more secure.

"We are meeting with residents and partners in the recently affected areas to gather their views on a series of options. It is proposed that the programme will initially prioritise measures in the open spaces at New Park and East Broyle in Chichester, and then the council will review its other sites on an ongoing basis. A report will go to the October Cabinet meeting to agree the way forward and present the feedback received from the resident and partner engagement.

"We believe that taking this action will act as a deterrent and further enhance security measures, but it's important that people understand that we may still see further unauthorised encampments in the future. What's crucial is that we continue to work closely with residents and partners to regularly review the actions we need to take."

The council has also updated its'Advice for Residents' section on illegal encampments . This covers frequently asked questions and explains the process the council and its partners have to follow when an illegal encampment occurs. The page also provides advice for landowners and explains how the Gypsy and Travellers Transit site operates.

Date of release: 7 September 2021

Reference: 4036