18 reports of trouble at Willows traveller site in Sandhurst
TROUBLED traveller site The Willows in Sandhurst has attracted 18 reports of anti-social behaviour over the past three years, new figures reveal.
The incidents are mainly related to horses, with just three similar reports at the Cursey Lane traveller site and no incidents at the Culkerton or Showborough sites.
Despite the reports, no one has been prosecuted for anti-social behaviour from the sites in that time.
The Willows was branded a no-go zone in 2010 when a stolen vehicle turned up there. Angry owner of the missing Mercedes Van, Christopher Sims, was left fuming when he was told by police they were unable to intervene as it would risk the safety of officers.
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Police have said there are no active lines of inquiry into the case but if fresh information comes to light, it will be investigated.
A police spokesman said: "There are absolutely no 'no go' areas for our officers and we take all reports of anti-social behaviour very seriously, wherever they happen. We often work with our partner agencies, such as the council, to seek resolutions but these may not be criminal sanctions."
A spokesman for the gypsy and traveller community said: "I am not aware of any particular problems on any of the sites. Although I don't have much to do with The Willows, I know a lot of people who do live there also run skip hire firms and other businesses nearby.
"Every community has good and bad areas, that is normal.
"But there seems to be less understanding with the traveller community and that is unfair."
Under pressure to slash £114 million from its budget by 2015, county council discussions over the possibility of handing over the management of the four sites to a private housing association are ongoing. A decision is likely to be made later this year.
An annual maintenance budget for all sites totals £204,000.