A small group of travellers in Ham were immediately threatened with eviction after they arrived to a green space in the suburb earlier today (Wednesday, March 3).
Richmond Council said the “unauthorised” group arrived around 10am Wednesday morning, and were greeted soon after by “officers and the parks enforcement contractor, Park Guard”.
The authorities subsequently issued the group with a 24-hour eviction notice after they conducted a “welfare check” on everyone there.
“If the travellers do not depart the site before 4pm on Thursday 4th March, the Council will instruct bailiffs to enforce the eviction,” a statement from Richmond Council read.
Cllr Julia Neden-Watts, Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Committee at Richmond Council, added:
“A small group of travellers have arrived in the borough.
“Council officers have acted swiftly to work with the relevant authorities to safely move them on as soon as possible.
“As soon as the travellers leave, we will inspect the area and ensure that any damage is repaired, and waste removed.”
Many reports have pointed to travelling communities facing decades of racism and de-facto persecution in the UK under successive governments.
One article in the US-based Foreign Policy journal stated during the 2019 election that “prejudice against those labeled as Gypsies, Roma, and Travellers is one of the most widespread forms of racism in the UK, one stoked over the last decades not only by the Conservative Party but also by its main media supporters.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel was accused of “inciting racial hatred” last year after she labelled travellers “criminal and violent”.