Avoiding Rash Actions When Dealing with Travellers on Your Private Land

Travelling figures on top of a map

Enraged by a group of uninvited guests, farmer Dave Dawson set what can be seen as a world record in evicting travellers from private land. Upon discovering the intruders (in four vans) camping on his land, the farmer chose to take matters into his own hands. He matched down to their camps and demanded that they vacate with immediate effect.

Beforehand, he’d placed a call to the police informing them of his intentions of running the intruders off of his land with a digger. Despite the police being present to prevent a violent confrontation, the travellers were gone in under three hours.

A bucket load of trouble

While the farmer was lucky to evict the travellers quickly, he was not left unscathed. He lamented the loss of entire day’s work and a bill of £500 to repair the damage they had wrought on his property. Compared to other famous cases, the farmer got off easy.

The now-famous Dale Farm stand-off, lead to a decade-long legal battle that costs a jaw-dropping £18 million. Mr Dave Dawson must have borne such factors in mind when he decided to take matters into his own hands. Evicting travellers on your land can be an expensive and time-consuming affair.

Grave legal repercussions

While you might be quick to laud Mr Dawson for solving the problem quickly and efficiently, his actions were highly unlawful. Even when they pitch camp on your land illegally, travellers have rights. As such, trying to forcefully evict them from the land can earn you a bucket load of legal troubles.

Instead of running roughshod on such incursion on your land, you need to prove to the travellers that they are trespassing on your land. You need to understand that unauthorised camping on a private land does not constitute a criminal offence. However, trespassing is a civil offence and as such, you need to follow the due process of the law to repossess your property.

Having a bunch of people camping illegally on your private land can saddle you with hefty losses and extensive damages. However, trying to evict such a group of people forcefully can still land you in a heap of legal trouble.