Unauthorised encampments

Please note that we are aware and dealing with the following sites:  
          
- Sherington Road, Sherington
- H10 Bletcham Way, Caldecotte

- Steinbeck Crescent, Snelshall East
        
Officers are following the legal eviction process and are working with landowners and other agencies to resolve this issue as quickly as we can.
       
Should you wish to report any crimes or anti-social behaviour surrounding this encampment please contact Thames Valley Police by calling 101 or if it is happening now dial 999.

An unauthorised encampment is a group of people with vehicles who are trespassing and staying on land without the landowner's consent.

Report an unauthorised encampment online here.

What does the council do?

If an encampment is on public land (land owned by MK Council, MKDP or The Parks Trust) we’ll visit the site quickly to assess the situation and gather any evidence needed. We consider the size of the site, its location, whether residents or businesses may be affected, and how long the group intends to stay. We also consider the health and welfare of those on the site.

Many unauthorised encampments only stay for short periods and cause minimal disruption. When this is the case, there’s no reason to take court action.

An eviction notice requires trespassers to leave a specific site. With our partners, we serve hundreds of eviction notices each year and in the majority of cases the group moves on quickly. If the notice is ignored we can apply for a court date to take further legal action. If the court grants the council possession, we’ll use bailiffs to enforce the order. If the land is privately owned, the landowner makes their own arrangements.

Can trespassers be moved on immediately?

Trespass is a civil rather than criminal offence, which means land owners and local authorities must repossess their property using the courts, which can be a lengthy process.

For unauthorised encampments, the council must first:

  • Show the group is on land without consent.
  • Make enquiries about health, welfare and children’s education.
  • Ensure that the Human Rights Act 1998 has been complied with.

Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are legally protected from discrimination and must be able to access mainstream council services.

Police responsibilities

We work closely with Thames Valley Police to agree the best way forward on unauthorised encampments.

The police may use powers under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to remove trespassers only if there is a significant impact to the local community or other users of the land, impact upon the land, a significant increase in local crime directly attributable to the encampment, or a risk to life.

The police are also bound by the Human Rights Act. It is for the police alone to decide whether Section 61 should be used.

Dealing with anti-social behaviour

While many unauthorised encampments are short and cause minimal disruption, others can have a high impact on the local community.

Milton Keynes Council and Thames Valley Police will take action against individuals responsible for anti-social behaviour, working together to consider what kind of action is best for each situation.

Preventing unauthorised encampments

We provide a number of pitches for use by travellers, who pay rent to the council. These pitches are kept in good condition.

Over the last five years the council has invested an extra £250,000 to help protect vulnerable sites with physical barriers such as large concrete blocks or bunds (mounds of earth).