'˜Travellers demand Â£1,200 to move on'
A businesswoman in Peterborough has spoken of her anger after travellers parked in her delivery yard - and police told her there was nothing they could do.
Eve Taylor (84), who runs her own cosmetics firm in Mallard Road, Bretton, said the caravan parked at the back of the factory yesterday morning.
Mrs Taylor, who has operated the business in Peterborough since 1984, said: “When the travellers came in, they said ‘if you pay us £1,200, we will move. It is cheaper than going to court. There are five other vans on their way.’”
“I phoned the police, and was told it was not a threat, but a proposal, and there was nothing they could do as it was a civil matter.”
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police confirmed they had told Mrs Taylor it was not a threat.
Mrs Taylor said: “We have lots of lorries coming in for deliveries. Young children were playing in the delivery area, where there is a lot of traffic in that area. I had staff in tears, and other staff were put on the gates to stop people coming in.”
After being told it was a civil matter, and police could not do anything, Mrs Taylor contacted The Peterborough Telegraph, furious nothing could be done to move them on.
The Peterborough Telegraph contacted Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson, who has spoken out about the impact travellers have on businesses in the past, as well as the police. Mr Jackson said he had also contacted the police when he heard about the situation.
Mrs Taylor said at 3.30pm police arrived and moved the caravan on.
She said: “I am still going to have to keep the gates locked at all times from now on, and have to open the gates for each delivery.
“We pay a lot in rates, I pay council tax, and we don’t get any protection. We are not told what our rights are.”
A police spokesman said police could not guarantee to attend all similar cases in the future, and said decisions were made on a case by case basis by officers - but the decision to send officers to the scene yesterday was not based on The Peterborough Telegraph’s calls.