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Facebook reacts to Great Notley protest at illegal traveller …

A family of travellers remain in the heart of an affluent north Essex community four days after barging onto the publicly-owned park.

Great Notley villagers staged a protest at the group’s arrival on Monday night, with Essex Police saying one of the residents’ cars was blocking paramedics from treating a sick six-week-old baby.

The Chronicle’s story about the protest sparked a social media backlash from readers, and while we have since published the views of Great Notley residents, where the average house price is £340,542, here is what people had to say on Facebook about the stand-off earlier this week:

An Essex Police spokesman told the Chronicle this morning: “Police powers to remove trespassers on land are contained in Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

“Any decision taken by officers to use those powers must have a clear rationale and must meet the criteria set out under the legislation. The act of trespass is a civil matter and the presence of an unauthorised encampment alone cannot be a reason for police powers under Section 61 to be used.

“When the circumstances allow for the legislation to be considered, we can only use this power if it is lawful, necessary and proportionate in the individual circumstances. On this occasion our determination was that those criteria had not been met.

“If the circumstances call for it then we will not hesitate to serve Section 61 notices to force groups to move from the land they are occupying, as we have done in the past. We continue to work closely with our partners and the wider community to resolve these issues.”

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