Council supports police operation at unauthorised encampment

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Officers from Daventry District Council’s Dog Warden service assisted Northamptonshire Police and other agencies in an operation at an unauthorised traveller encampment in Great Oxendon.

Eight caravans and a number of other items believed to have been stolen were seized by police during the operation at the site on 9 July.

Officers from DDC were on site to assist with animal welfare checks and scanning for microchips. Working alongside police and the RSPCA, they identified 14 dogs which did not have microchips and for which no owner was identified. As a result of this, those dogs were removed from the site. 

Police had been alerted to the unauthorised encampment on Monday 8 July after receiving reports of a gateway having been damaged and a number of vehicles and caravans having parked on private land just off the A508 Harborough Road.

Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Rogers said suspicions were raised that some of the vehicles had previously been reported as stolen after officers visited the site to speak with the occupants and carry out routine checks.

Following further investigation and in liaison with colleagues in other forces, officers visited the site again on Tuesday morning (9 July) and seized eight of the 10 caravans that were parked there.

Officers also seized a leaf blower, a generator, various white electrical goods and a quad bike, which are believed to have been stolen from the local area and various police force areas.

The operation involved working closely with partner agencies, including Daventry District Council, the RSPCA and Northamptonshire County Council Social Services, who attended with the Force’s Child Protection Team to ensure the welfare of the children at the site.

Councillor Richard Auger, Environmental Health and Housing Portfolio Holder on Daventry District Council, said: “As the local representative for the Welford Ward I was invited along to observe the police raid on this unauthorised encampment. I was immensely impressed at how quickly the police and partners got their teams together following reliable intelligence that there were stolen caravans on the site, and I want to express my appreciation to all the statutory organisations involved in the operation for the professional and proportionate way they executed their duties. 

“It is important to note that the vast majority of Travellers and Gypsies are law-abiding and form an integral part of our community here in the Daventry District. We are keen to preserve their traditional lifestyle and help them maintain good relationships with the settled community. This raid sends out a clear message that criminality will not be tolerated by the travelling or settled community and that nobody is above the law.”