Residents left feeling ‘frightened’ and ‘uneasy’ of travellers at Tipton

The travellers at Tipton. Picture: Archant

The travellers at Tipton. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Travellers have set up camp on a Tipton car park leaving village residents feeling ‘frightened’ and ‘uneasy’.

The travellers at Tipton. Picture: Archant

The travellers at Tipton. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Three caravans and three cars turned up on the car park opposite the primary school on Tuesday morning.

The private land belongs to the Trustees of Tipton St John Community Hall, so police and East Devon District Council (EDDC) do not have much power when it comes to moving them along.

Tipton Councillor Lyn Harding had a meeting with the campers and EDDC’s enforcement officer on Wednesday.

She added that the travellers said they would be leaving by the weekend and the enforcement officer arranged for them to have some dustbins and bags.

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Cllr Harding said: “If they have not gone by Monday then the community hall will have to pay a high court bailiff to evict them.

“I’ve had so many calls about it.

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“People are frightened of them and it is an older population in Tipton and Tipton doesn’t seem to get much support from the police.

“We are worried about what is going to happen.

“I feel sorry for them, they have no where to go but they shouldn’t be on a public carpark which is used regularly - if they get any more in there people won’t go in it - they will be too scared of their reaction.”

Lyn said her 72-year-old husband went and spoke to the travellers when they first arrived but they were verbally abusive and gave him the finger.

John Belton, chair of the Trustees of Tipton St John Community Hall, said: “The general response from people is that they are very concerned.

“It makes people feel uneasy, particularly the ones that live near the hall and the school.

“We had a problem several years ago with travellers in Green Lane.

“They were there for months, so a lot of people remember that and fear that it may happen again.

“In view of Wednesday’s meeting, we know it is unlikely but it doesn’t stop them moving from the car park to somewhere nearby.”

Ottery PC Paul Vaughn said: “We know they are there, but they are on a private car park so there is not a lot we can do.

“We went down there on Tuesday and had a chat.

“We will keep a close on it and will step up patrols, when officers are on duty.”

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