George Hollingbery praises police and community following removal of travellers from Denmead park

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery has thanked the police for taking swift action to remove travellers who damaged Ashling Park in Denmead and threatened local people.   

The group were at the site for six days and used bolt cutters to gain access. Quad bikes were ridden over the football pitches badly damaging them, dogs were loose and caused a health hazard to the area and local people were threatened.

Police yesterday told the travellers to leave under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act. The legislation allows officers to do so when a group is trespassing on private land and causing significant damage or depriving the community of a local amenity.

“This had been a distressing time for residents living near Ashling Park and for people who have been deprived of its amenities during this unpleasant incident,” said George. 

“I’m pleased the police acted so decisively in this case and I know the local community has appreciated it.  The damage being caused to Ashling Park and the impact on local residents was significant and it was clear that action was necessary.

“I would like to pay tribute to the professionalism the police have shown in dealing with this very sensitive and emotive situation.  Their actions should be of great reassurance to the community.”

George also thanked Denmead Parish Council, Winchester City Councillor Caroline Brook and numerous local residents for collecting evidence of what the group had done as this enabled the police to act.