Travellers and business park don't go together
PUBLISHED: 12:19 02 August 2007 | UPDATED: 12:43 04 May 2010
I AM one of the many people who witnessed the unfolding mess as the travellers moved in to an empty car park next to a council-owned building at 4 Bartholomew s Walk in the Cambridgeshire Business Park (Businessman driven out by travellers, Ely Standard,
I AM one of the many people who witnessed the unfolding mess as the travellers moved in to an empty car park next to a council-owned building at 4 Bartholomew's Walk in the Cambridgeshire Business Park (Businessman driven out by travellers, Ely Standard, July 23). This latest group of travellers stayed for a week before finally being moved on.
It was interesting to read that a police officer had described that 'some damage to a building' had occurred. A colleague and I inspected the site on Friday, July 19 after the group had finally been moved on and we were astonished to see just how much damage had been caused - every external air conditioning unit had been ripped off the wall and smashed open - apparently to harvest internal copper piping. Most windows were smashed in, and doors broken down. At one point there was a strong odour of gas fumes near the building where gas pipes had been severed. The comment concerning the damage was that "no-one has seen who caused it". If this is the reason that the police felt unable to intervene to stop the criminal damage caused over a week-long period, this appears to be a very weak argument - the circumstantial evidence is surely overwhelming. For months, the site has been empty and the adjacent building in perfect condition (after being repaired following the last appearance by travellers at this same site). Then, the travellers appeared and just coincidentally the building next door was vandalised and (I would estimate) thousands of pounds worth of damage caused during the same period as their week-long stay. I do not envy the task that the police face in dealing with these people who appear to place themselves outside of the law, but let us not pretend that we do not know what is happening here, and who is responsible.
Following this latest incident all the businesses in the area have received a letter from the police station in Ely to say that a meeting will be convened to discuss the matter. I welcome this opportunity.
The appearance by groups of travellers two or three times a year with attendant damage and mess is no way to promote Ely's business park to potential new companies contemplating moving into the area.
Dr D F Reich
Kore Technology Ltd.