Update on action over travellers on Eastbourne seafront

Police say they will not be taking action at this present time over the unauthorised encampment of travellers on Eastbourne seafront.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 12:24 pm
Travellers site at the Sovereign centre, Eastbourne SUS-210427-102430001

Eastbourne council is considering its next move after Eastbourne Police said there is currently no grounds on which to serve a notice on the group requiring the 30 adults and 45 children to move on.

The group of travellers, which originate from Ireland, arrived in Eastbourne last Tuesday and are pitched up on open grassland between the Sovereign Centre and Monarch House flats.

A spokesperson at Sussex Police said today (Tuesday), “We are aware of an unauthorised encampment at Eastbourne seafront, and officers have been conducting regular visits to engage with the group and carry out site assessments in liaison with the local authority. A site visit took place on Tuesday morning (April 27) and no issues were identified.

“The use of police powers to give direction for the group to leave the site has been considered and reviewed, but a decision has been made giving due regard to Sussex Police policy and the legislation under section 61 and section 62A-E of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

“Any decision must involve a balance between rights of the landowner and/or the wider community; and the rights and welfare needs of those on the unauthorised encampment. At this time, it is not believed to be proportionate or justified to give a direction to leave by police. This decision will be reviewed at appropriate intervals and should the situation change.

“We will aim to ensure a lawful, balance, proportionate and consistent approach and will continue to monitor the situation closely, working to agreed protocols with the local authority.”

A spokesperson at Eastbourne council said yesterday (Monday), “We continue to explore every option open to us.

“Our officers are liaising with Sussex Police with regard to their powers under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. A Section 61 notice would require the site to be vacated.

“We are also moving forward with proceedings under Section 77 of the same act.”