Twelve years on from when I started this job, back in 2007 when traveller incursions on the business parks were all too regular, we had another one this week. This time last week I sent you out a message about travellers as someone had spotted them near the former Icon head office. In fact, by Friday it was clear that six vehicles had occupied the front car park, and they were settling in for the weekend.
On Monday I spoke to the guy in charge at Continental – the company which is currently beginning its lease on the building – and he had spoken to the landowner as well as the police. His mood was not optimistic. He felt that it was left to him to sort it out; the police had suggested he go and tell the travellers that they should get off the site and that they would turn up several hours later to move them on. By that time, there were just four vehicles left on site. He did go and speak to the travellers and fortunately they finally decided to leave with police supervision on Tuesday evening. He then had to organise the clean up operation, but told me that there were just a few trolleys of trash to deal with.
I spoke again with him this week and explained that things used to be much worse in terms of travellers. He knew nothing of the recent history of the business parks, and this latest incident could be beneficial for us in that the new company might now decide to join the BHBPA. I explained to him that most companies now take security on the business parks more seriously and lots have recently installed preventive measures such as barriers or bollards or gates to deter potential invaders. No doubt the situation is not made easier by the fact that police numbers have been drastically reduced to the point where they are struggling to deal with levels of crime.