A UTTOXETER business owner has hit out at the police after travellers moved onto his land for the third time in a year.
Joe Tipper, managing director of Walter Tipper Ltd in Dovefields Industrial Estate, Derby Road, has been left fuming after he claimed the travellers removed a protective barrier to park on his land.
The business had set up the barrier, made up of containers of rubble, after numerous other episodes involving itinerants.
Staff discovered on Wednesday morning last week that the containers had been moved and the travellers caravan’s had set up on the land at the rear of the site.
However, the police say with a lack of evidence of the apparent forced entry, their hands are tied, with the law stating that if travellers are on private land with no evidence of a break-in, the responsibility falls on the landowner.
Mr Tipper, though, told the Advertiser that it was ‘absolutely clear’ that the travellers had removed the protective barrier it had set up.
He said: “It is incredibly disappointing that after more than 100 years contributing to the local community when we called upon the police for help the response was one of complete disinterest.
“It is absolutely clear beyond reasonable doubt that the travellers have removed the protective barrier and therefore broken and entered our property.
“The police have claimed that there is a lack of evidence that the travellers did indeed remove the protective barrier. This is clearly an excuse to avoid them having to take further action and remove the travellers.
“It is very sad that the police force have used the law to hide behind and protect criminals.
“If the police discovered a group of thieves pillaging from a house would they fail to arrest them if they claimed the door was already smashed down before they arrived?
“The police had a choice to support a member of the local community but instead they chose to abandon us and support a group of criminals.”
A spokesman for Staffordshire Police though said officers were working with the business to find a solution to the problem.
He said: “We are aware of the situation and are working with the owners of the site to resolve it.
“The owners are in the process of obtaining a court order to remove the travellers from the site.”