Recently we seem to have had a run of trespassing travellers invading town and city car parks to operate a parking charge scam. We have evicted travellers in Birmingham, Southampton and Leicester, all from car parks.
There are small groups of three or four caravans which arrive during the night with their accompanying vehicles.
Their cars are usually parked at the back of the car park in front of the caravans.
They are parked in such a way that partially obscures them from obvious view.
The next day some of the men dress up in fluorescent high visibility waist coats or coats. The pay and display machine is vandalised, or tape is put over the meter along with a sign saying out of order.
As people park their cars these men come over and inform the car owners that if they are going to park then it is £3-5 all day. The men collect money from the drivers.
Some people pay then understandably get upset when they return to their vehicle later to find that a PCN has been placed on their car for none payment of the parking fee.
The car park owners often confront the men, or speak with the police. However, the men deny taking the money and then refuse to leave.
Once the police have gone the travellers often offer to leave for around £400 a caravan (for petrol). It is surprising how many landowners pay them and live to regret it.
The travellers often refuse to go after being served, and claim they cannot be evicted without a court order. This is rubbish. The trespassers use the fact a court order can take up to two weeks to obtain to blackmail land owners to pay them off.
The land owner reasons that legal expenses and court fees plus the loss of trade can be much greater than paying off the trespassers.
However, an eviction under common law by experienced bailiffs is often a lot cheaper and quicker than going through the court process or paying them.
The short term solution is to use experienced bailiffs such as Quality Bailiffs who specialise in the removal of trespassers.
We usually start the eviction process the day we are instructed and attend to serve them with notice to leave. Most evictions are done within 2 to 3 hours if we are supported by the Police. With small numbers evictions often cost less than £1,000.
Long term solutions include fitting height restriction poles in place to stop vans and caravans from entering the car park. Where this is not possible CCTV to monitor the car park can deter trespassers, and re-assure customers.
Quality Bailiffs has over twenty five years of experience in completing land recovery from travellers.
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