Laws dealing with travellers are ‘impotent’

The entrance to the site has now been blocked
The entrance to the site has now been blocked
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A Fife businessman has been left to pick up the cost after travellers, who broke onto his land illegally to set up camp, have now left the site.

The owners of around 30 caravans smashed down security fencing at the former Pico factory on land adjacent to Bankhead roundabout earlier this week.

Businessman Andrew Davie had attempted to stop the travellers from entering the site by using an JCB excavator to dig a trench but had to stop when he was approached by a number of travellers.

Several piles of earth have now been placed across the access to the site in a bid to prevent travellers from returning.

Mr Davie now faces an expensive legal bill after securing an eviction order to remove the travellers.

Glenrothes and Central Fife MP Lindsay Roy has criticised the lack of dialogue between the Clerks Office, the Council and Police after the issuing of an eviction order was not communicated.

And Mr Roy hit out at what he called the “sheer impotency” of the law dealing with travellers and illegal camps.

“Yet again, large groups of travellers have shown that they are apparently ‘above the law’ and outwith effective control of the police and Fife Council, despite their efforts.

“Not only have they broken in illegally and annexed a private site, but vandalism. fly tipping and breaches of health and safety have all apparently occurred without sanction.

“The costs of the business involved in getting an eviction order, cancelling planned work on the site and clearing up waste are substantial. What an injustice.

“The law in the rest of the UK is different and this would not be allowed to happen.

“I have been urging the Scottish Government to review the law consistantly over the last four years but to no avail.”

John Mills from Fife Council’s housing, access and support department said any unauthorised camps will “not be tolerated”.

“We are experiencing the normal movement of travellers into Fife for economic activity”,

He added: “They have encamped recently at John Smith Business Park, Mitchelston, Bankhead, and at Randolph Playing fields.

“We will not tolerate unauthorised encampments near business estates or leisure facilities due to the disruption this causes.”