Our village is now home to families from the travelling community – after they gained access to Sellors Playing Field and moved their caravans and vehicles onto the recreation ground yesterday (Thursday) teatime.
It seems the unexpected visitors managed to lift the locked metal access gate off Wilford Road from its hinges at one side and haul it open to enable them to get in and set up their encampment. It happened just as members of Impact Fitness were setting up for their evening “bootcamp” there. Having first been driven around, one of them said they were then asked by the travellers to leave “…because it’s our field now!”
Currently there are ten mobile homes encircling the playing field and it initially seemed as if they intended to stay here as long as possible – with one local resident being informed by a member of the group: “We won’t be moving until we’re evicted”. It’s believed to be the same travelling community which has just moved on from Clifton – and decided to choose Ruddington as its next stop.
Ruddington Parish Council is responsible for Sellors’ Recreation Ground – which was gifted to the village in perpetuity by Frederick William Sellors. It has a covenant to protect it and is registered as an Asset of Community Value – factors which spared it from the threat of new housing recently after a long battle by villagers to save it. Ironically, it seems it may now have some residents on it for a while after all – and RPC will need to decide what to do next. It’s thought they would require a court order to remove the encampment if the travellers refused to leave voluntarily. Not only that, RPC may be obliged to provide toilets and waste disposal facilities, if the families there ask for them.
However Rushcliffe Police told RUDDINGTON.info they visited the site this morning (Friday) and were assured by the travellers they will be there for only a few days and then tidy up. Meantime, unless damage is being done to the land or property – or threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour is being used – officers are not authorised to take any direct action. A police spokeswoman said: “To get onto the field it seems they have purely lifted the gate off its hinges so no damage was caused. But we will be paying attention to them and working with the Parish Council who are being supported by the Borough Council in regards to whether they will be asking them to leave.”
It follows another relatively quiet month for crime in our village – with just a dozen offences reported (although individually no less distressing for those who fell victim). June’s police statistics, in date order, are as follows:-
7th Drive off by a vehicle on false plates from Ruddington Service Station.
8th Theft of meat and spirits from Sainsbury’s. Offender identified and arrested.
9th Clifton Road – two large planters stolen from front of property.
12th Old Road – distraction burglary with cash stolen by door to door seller.
14th Theft of children’s clothing from The Children’s Society charity shop on Easthorpe Street.
14th Criminal damage to a window by a resident at Ruddington View, Clifton Lane.
19th Distillery Street – two pedal cycles stolen from a shed in the rear of a property.
19th Wilford Road – two push bikes stolen from rear garden of property overnight.
19th Theft of two purses from a locked classroom at a business premises on Mere Way.
25th Offender disturbed stealing items from a vehicle on Camelot street. Enquiries ongoing.
30th Burglary at an unoccupied property on Savages Row. Entry gained via rear door. Electrical items were stolen.
30th Theft of fuel from Ruddington Service Station.
If you have any information about any of the above incidents – or may have captured CCTV footage that could help – you’re asked to call Nottinghamshire Police on 101. Or you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.