Unauthorised encampments - travellers
Report an unauthorised encampment (travellers)
This needs to be more than one caravan in any location, to be an unauthorised encampment.
You can report an unauthorised encampment by:
- emailing Environmental_ProtectionTeam@sandwell.gov.uk
- calling 0121 368 1177 or out of hours please call: 0121 569 3862. Calls taken out of hours will be passed to our Environmental Protection Team to action the following day.
- calling the police on 101.
In an emergency (if a crime is being committed or someone’s life is in danger) call the police on 999.
You can also find information on the Permanent Gypsy and Traveller Site.
Notice of an injunction against the Cassidy family
The council has extended the injunction against the Cassidy family.
Under the terms of the extended injunction, John Cassidy is banned from all of Sandwell until June 2028. He is also forbidden from using or threatening violence, causing a nuisance or annoyance and removing any padlock, lock or bolt from anywhere in Sandwell.
The five-year extension applies to 13 other members of the Cassidy family and forbids them from setting up unauthorised encampments, dumping rubbish, damaging padlocks or entering the borough other than to drive through it until June 2023.
A copy of the injunction is available online and for collection from the claimant’s offices at Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Sandwell Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury, West Midlands.
The injunction order relates to the following defendants:
- JOHN CASSIDY (date of birth 30/11/72)
- MARY CASSIDY
- JOHNNY CASSIDY
- MARTIN CASSIDY
- PATRICK CASSIDY (date of birth 26/06/77)
- KATRINA CASSIDY
- KATHLEEN CASSIDY
- MARGARET CASSIDY
- JERRY CASSIDY
- JEREMIAH CASSIDY
- EILEEN CASSIDY
- ELIZABETH CASSIDY
- WILLIAM CASSIDY
- ANDREW CASSIDY SENIOR
It is a contempt of court if the injunction order is breached which may result in imprisonment, a fine or assets being seized. Any breach of this order must be reported to Sandwell Council or West Midlands Police.
A clause against “Persons Unknown” previously existed as part of the council's injunction. From 27 November 2020 this clause has been discharged and is no longer in force.
The council has a transit site in Smethwick where groups who set up unauthorised encampments in Sandwell will be directed to by the council and the police. This site cannot be pre-booked. Rent on the site is £80 per week, per caravan, plus a security deposit of £250 per caravan. The maximum stay on the site is 28 days.
Unauthorised encampments on council-owned land
When an unauthorised encampment is reported, council officers and the police are required by law to assess the travellers’ needs within 24 hours of the council being notified (excluding weekends and Bank Holidays).
Checks are made on:
- the tidiness of the site
- whether the highway or public rights of way have been blocked
- the level of disruption to residents and businesses, and
- any other activity reported to the police or council.
The Government advises that, where travellers are following a code of conduct (you can find this in our joint protocol on dealing with unauthorised encampments), they may be allowed to stay for a short period before moving on. However, should the occupants of the encampment fail to follow the code of conduct, the council can immediately start proceedings to remove them.
Unauthorised encampments on privately-owned land
The following documents, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), inform landowners of powers available to deal with unauthorised encampments:
- Guide to effective use of enforcement powers - Part 1: Unauthorised encampments (February 2006)
- Dealing with illegal and unauthorised encampments: a summary of available powers (March 2015)
The council will not take steps to remove unauthorised encampments from private land, but in some circumstances might be able to offer the landowner advice and assistance. The council cannot give the landowner legal advice and/or recommend any particular course of legal action.
Private landowners do have powers they can use to evict trespassers from the land they own but should seek their own independent legal advice about how to use those powers. There can be serious consequences for any landowner who does not follow the correct, lawful procedures.
Any anti-social and criminal behaviour must be brought to the attention of West Midlands Police by calling 101 the non-emergency telephone number.
The council has a joint protocol with West Midlands Police setting out how we deal with unauthorised encampments on public land. We work closely with the police and other organisations to make sure all decisions and actions are consistent, fair and within the law.
The council has obligations under the Human Rights Act and the Equality Act 2010 to recognise the right of gypsies and travellers to live a nomadic way of life.