Police attended Palm Bay green today (September 30) to issue a direction to leave notice to a number of Travellers parked at the site.
A Section 61 notice can only be issued by police and can be used when there are two or more persons trespassing on the land.
The notice does not require the involvement of the courts and the return of unauthorised campers to the location within three months carries criminal sanctions.
The group left the area after receiving the notice.
A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police was called on September 21 to reports of Travellers parked on a field in Palm Bay Avenue.
“Officers liaised with the land owners and today (September 30) issued the Travellers with a direction to leave notice under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act. The Travellers left the area later the same day.”
Criteria must be met before the police can issue a direction to leave land. Failure to comply with a direction to leave the land or a return to the land is an imprisonable and/or finable offence.
The criteria is “that two or more persons are trespassing on the land and they are present there with the common purpose of residing there for any period.”
And “police must ensure that reasonable steps have been taken by or on behalf of the landowner/occupier to ask them to leave and either that any of the persons have caused damage to the land or property or used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour towards the occupier or his family/agents and those persons have between them six or more vehicles on the land.”
Government guidelines had been that to minimise risk during the national coronavirus emergency, unauthorised encampments should not be evicted. However the eviction ban expired on September 20.