Traveller convoy on move again

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The Independent Online
A convoy of 30 travellers' vehicles was on the move again last night after police moved it out of a lay-by on the A1, just north of the village of Elksley in Nottinghamshire.

The group of more than 100 travellers, which includes women and children, had been held for the preceding 12 hours after being forced from a site in Lincolnshire by police using CS gas sprays.

Chris Johnson, of solicitors McGrath and Company, had persuaded the police to allow the travellers to stop at the Elksley lay-by following a violent scuffle at the Lincolnshire site. The vehicles had started to veer dangerously across the road due to the exhaustion of the drivers who had been constantly on the move for the preceding two days, said Johnson.

The CS sprays were used by officers as they attempted to prevent the new arrivals joining a group of 50 vehicles on the Forestry Commission land at Twyford Wood near Colsterworth in Lincolnshire.

Inspector George Mould of Lincolnshire police described the spray as having "a brilliant effect". Police later confirmed having brought in officers from neighbouring forces in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to assemble a force of 100 officers in order to move the people on.

The travellers have been evicted from Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire over the past eight weeks.

Mr Johnson described how the group of travellers had been convoyed from county to county. "The police refused to say what powers they were employing to move the travellers on and there was no judge available to grant an order stopping their action at that time of night."

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