Travellers on Tooting Common given 24 hour ultimatum by council
The travellers, who arrived on the common earlier today, have been served with notices requiring them to vacate the car park by 2.30pm tomorrow.
Failure to meet this deadline could render them liable to court action.
Camping overnight on any part of Tooting Common, without prior authorisation from the council, is a criminal offence under parks and open spaces byelaws.
The council also has powers to physically remove any person, and their belongings, including vehicles, if they do not comply with the byelaws.
Councillor Jonathan Cook, the council's environment spokesman, said: "Local people can rest assured that we are taking active steps to quickly remove this group from the common.
"By acting so speedily we have reduced the likelihood of this camp getting any bigger and also ensured that this group will depart before the common and its facilities run the risk of suffering any long-term damage."
Residents who witness any incident involving travellers on council-owned land are being urged to contact the town hall's emergency response team on 020 8871 6900.
The council provides an approved travellers site in Trewint Street, Earlsfield.
This month, the Department for Communities and Local Government reiterated rules that allow councils to apply to the courts for a pre-emptive injunction to stop travellers returning to the same sites over again.
Another London council has been battling the issue of traveller camps and has been quelling the anger of residents who have threatened to take the situation into their own hands.
Sutton Council has seen an escalation of traveller activity in recent weeks and is seeking legal advise to try to solve the problem.
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