Couple return from holiday to find excrement, abandoned clothes and tents dumped over their garden fence

PUBLISHED: 14:23 04 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:32 04 December 2019

Pictured is Patrick Garland. The rubbish left behind properties on Elm Low Road in Wisbech after a group of people had been living there. Picture: Archant

Pictured is Patrick Garland. The rubbish left behind properties on Elm Low Road in Wisbech after a group of people had been living there. Picture: Archant

Archant

A Wisbech couple returning from holiday discovered that land behind their garden fence had been used as a temporary camp site with excrement, litter, waste food and clothes left behind.

The rubbish left behind properties on Elm Low Road in Wisbech after a group of people had been living there. Picture: ArchantThe rubbish left behind properties on Elm Low Road in Wisbech after a group of people had been living there. Picture: Archant

Patrick Garland and Christine Rothwell were told by their neighbour on Elm Low Road, about the encampment after returning from a three-month break in Spain.

"I think it's absolutely disgusting that they would allow the situation to get as bad as it is," Mr Garland said. "I can't believe I'm the only person that hasn't seen people walking round the back and living rough.

Mr Garland said his neighbour spoke to police about the issue four times and that he contacted Fenland District Council.

"The next morning, I decided to walk round and I could see for myself how bad it was," he said. "There were toilet rolls on the grass, so it's looking pretty bad.

The rubbish left behind properties on Elm Low Road in Wisbech after a group of people had been living there. Picture: ArchantThe rubbish left behind properties on Elm Low Road in Wisbech after a group of people had been living there. Picture: Archant

"If I'd known it was this bad, I'd have stopped it straight away, but because we've been away for so long, it's got out of control.

"If these vermin come in and start walking into the garden, we'd maybe have a problem of them walking into the house."

A Fenland District Council spokesman said: "Our outreach workers visited the encampment in Elm Low Road but the tents, and the individual occupying the tents, has moved on.

"The person is known to the outreach service but unfortunately the individual does not wish to engage.

The rubbish left behind properties on Elm Low Road in Wisbech after a group of people had been living there. Picture: ArchantThe rubbish left behind properties on Elm Low Road in Wisbech after a group of people had been living there. Picture: Archant

"We will be continuing our efforts to help them in the hope that they choose to access the support available to them."

"However, not everyone wants help and there will be people who choose to stay on the street. We can't force anyone to access services, but along with our partners, we will keep trying to support as many people as possible.

Mr Garland said: "It doesn't suddenly happen that something's slung out on the street or on the floor."

The council spokesman said: "We resolve issues surrounding the unauthorised use of land and, where appropriate, will remove those who are unlawfully encamped, whilst providing support to help people get off the streets permanently.

"Tackling homelessness is an extremely broad and complex issue, with a need to address the impact on local communities and the environment while safeguarding the health, wellbeing and safety of all, including some of the most vulnerable people in Fenland.

"Fenland District Council and our partners are firmly committed to making sure no one needs to sleep rough, and anyone who is homeless or rough sleeping in Fenland can access a wide range of support, including overnight accommodation, access to medical services and help with food, washing facilities, clothing and toiletries.

"Members of the public can also help us to combat homelessness by letting us know about anyone they see sleeping rough. You can contact the Council directly on 01354 654321 (24/7) or notify us via StreetLink by visiting www.streetlink.org.uk, using the mobile app, or by calling 0300 500 0914."

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