Friday, 23 April 2021

Boys arrested and two vehicles seized

TWO boys were arrested and two vehicles seized from a travellers’ camp which stopped in Henley and Woodcote.

Police arrested the pair, aged 14 and 17 and of no fixed abode, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit assault and theft a few days after the group left the area.

Both have been released on bail.

Officers also confiscated a black Saab, which was suspected of being involved in the theft of tools from vehicles, and a white Ford Focus, which had been linked to the theft of catalytic converters across South Oxfordshire.

The camp first pitched up at Henley leisure centre car park, off Gillotts Lane, on the evening of November 26 and then moved to the layby on the A4074 between Woodcote and Ipsden over that weekend.

A number of thefts were reported in Henley, Sonning Common and Woodcote and there were also claims of hare coursing on surrounding farmland. Police visited the camp at Woodcote on December 2 and the travellers left later that day after Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, issued an eviction notice.

They are believed to have been part of a larger group which has been camping at sites across Reading since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Travellers left the Hills Meadow car park in Caversham last week after spending weeks there.

Several caravans pitched up at Gardiner recreation ground in Goring over the summer, forcing the parish council to spend £6,000 on evicting them and cleaning up their mess.

The police wouldn’t use their powers to move them on, saying there was no evidence of crime or antisocial behaviour, whereas action was taken against the Woodcote camp because it was obstructing a public highway.

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