Travellers return to Bury St Edmunds

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A traveller community has returned to Bury St Edmunds less than three weeks after ‘moving on’ from the town.

Ten caravans are currently occupying an unauthorised encampment in Holywater Meadows, near the Spread Eagle pub at the bottom of Vinery Road.

The group has been confirmed as the same one that, until August 12 when it moved to Felixstowe, had occupied Ten Acre Field, on Moreton Hall.

Holywater Meadows is owned by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

A council spokeswoman said the group gained access to its current site through a locked gate at a council-owned car park.

“We have reported the criminal damage and started proceedings to remove them,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Police said it received a report that travellers had moved onto this site at 2.40pm today and the local Safer Neighbourhood Team sergeant had visited and spoken to the group.

“Suffolk Police has also received a report that criminal damage has been caused to a lock on a gate leading onto the field – this matter is being investigated,” she said.

She added: “Suffolk Police is committed to working in partnership with the local authority and, where relevant, land owners to keep problems to a minimum. If problems occur we will deal with them, as we deem appropriate, and we are committed to positively policing the situation, monitoring on a daily basis and responding to any concerns.

“However, the Government considers the travellers’ lifestyle to be a legitimate one, and they enjoy the protection of the law. The police must balance the often conflicting needs of travellers and local communities within the constraints of the law.”