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Powers used against unauthorised encampment in Smethwick

Published 11th April 2018

Council and police officers have again used powers to ban unauthorised encampments from the borough after a group set up camp on Galton Bridge station’s car park.

Six caravans moved onto the council’s Independent Living Centre in Oldbury Road in Smethwick late last night (Tuesday) before moving onto the railway station car park opposite.

They were visited by council officers and police this morning and the occupants were given two hours to either leave or move to transit site - where rent of £80 a week and a £250 deposit must be paid for each caravan.

After two hours, the group were still on the car park, which is operated by Transport for West Midlands. 

Police were then able to use their Section 62 powers and the group left.

The Section 62 notice also bans the group from entering Sandwell with the intention of setting up an unlawful encampment for three months. A breach of this ban can lead to arrest and having vehicles seized.

It brings the total number of caravans subject to a section 62 notice in Sandwell to 32.

The powers have now been used four times on groups who refuse to go the transit site or leave Sandwell.

Illegal encampments have fallen by more than 60 per cent in Sandwell over the past 12 months.

You can report an unauthorised encampment by: