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Police use Section 61 powers to move on unauthorised encampment in Southampton

Officers in Southampton have been working with partners at Southampton City Council in response to an unauthorised encampment that was set up on Freemantle Common yesterday evening (Tuesday 18 June). 


It was reported that damage had been caused to a lock in order to gain access. 


Under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, police have the power to direct individuals to leave the land and remove any vehicles or property they have with them. 


Failure to comply is a criminal offence. These powers can be considered in the following circumstances: 


• Communities are deprived of local amenities; or significant impact on the environment 

• There is local disruption to the economy 

• There is other significant disruption to the local community or environment 

• There is a danger to life where there is a need to take preventative action. 


Following a review of the circumstances surrounding the encampment, police have utilised these powers today (Wednesday 19 June). 


Southampton Chief Inspector Chris Douglas said: “We will always ensure that we balance the needs and rights of all our communities with actions that are proportionate, lawful and necessary. 


“We work closely with landowners and our partners to ensure that a robust approach is taken against unauthorised encampments within legal parameters. 


“Our partnership work also seeks to identify repeat locations where there has been criminality or disorder in order to target harden these sites.” 



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Danielle Butler
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