POLICE have evicted Travellers from an illegal encampment in Birmingham after a night of disorder during which a man was stabbed.
More than 40 emergency calls were made to 999 by members of the public, who reported a mass brawl and vehicles being damaged on open land off Pennyacre Road in the Druids Heath area in the south of the city.
One man was transferred to hospital with stab wounds where his injuries were described as non-life threatening.
Two vehicles also had their windows smashed and may have been damaged beyond repair.
“What happened was totally unacceptable,” said West Midlands Police Inspector Noeleen Murrin, “a major fight, weapons used, spilling into the street and causing real concern in the local community.
“Two vehicles were badly damaged, possibly beyond viable repair.
“Response and specialist officers were quickly on the scene in a bid to quell the trouble and protect neighbouring residents and property.
“Police work alongside local authorities to negotiate with Traveller groups who trespass on land with the aim of moving them on quickly and peacefully.
“But when we have incidents like last night we will not hesitate to step in and break-up illegal encampments at short notice.”
A local authority-led eviction had been planned over the coming days but in light of the disorder – which broke out at around 1.40am this morning – West Midlands Police stepped in.
The group were moved on this afternoon with the last vehicle leaving at around 5.25pm, having been served with a Section 61 notice.
The legislation – under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice & Public Order Act – gives police the power to break-up illegal encampments if occupants have ignored pleas to move, have more than six vehicles between them, and have damaged the land or abused land owners.
Enquiries continue into the disorder and stabbing.