Police riot vans gather to move travellers on from Milton Keynes school site

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Police have swooped on the illegal traveller encampment at Oakgrove school and threatened to arrest all those who refuse to move.

A Gold Command team of police and a string of riot vans descended on the site mid afternoon today and seized vehicles belonging to the travellers.

They also threatened to arrest anybody who refused to move from the school sports field, which had been illegally occupied by around 30 vans since Friday.

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A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police has said: “Officers have been liaising with the school and engaging with those on the encampment. A Section 60c notice to leave was issued to those in the encampment with a deadline of 11am this morning.

Police riot vans swooped on the illegal travellers camp at Oakgrove SchoolPolice riot vans swooped on the illegal travellers camp at Oakgrove School
Police riot vans swooped on the illegal travellers camp at Oakgrove School

"This legal order has not been complied with, so officers are now currently removing the unauthorised encampment. Officers have seized vehicles and those refusing to comply with the order will be arrested.”

Oakgrove school was forced to close today due to the traveller invasion. It is still not know whether the field will be in a fit state for the scheduled sports day to go ahead tomorrow.

Earlier today city MP Ben Everitt urged the authorities to “get a grip” and deal with the problem.

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Tonight he said: "It's completely unacceptable that children have missed a day of education due to travellers occupying Oakgrove School.

“As soon as I was made aware I got straight on to the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Policing Minister and the school leadership team to get things moving.

“I'm pleased they took it so seriously, setting up a Gold Command team, and by mid afternoon specialist officers including a dog team were on site moving the travellers on.

“I am glad that by working together we are seeing fast progress to this issue.”

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Ben added: “We need to understand why it took three days to get action, but right now the priority is getting the site cleaned up and the children back in school."

The travellers allegedly smashed a metal gate to gain access to the school field on Friday. Yesterday (Sunday) their children were seen cooling off under a fountain of water caused by a water pipe that had become broken in the field.

The school will remain closed tomorrow for a clean up operation to be carried out.