Travellers dumped human excrement and household waste outside a primary school after setting up a 26-caravan camp.
The travellers arrived outside Rugby Free Primary School, at Central Park, Rugby, on November 30 and left last night (Sunday, December 6).
A large quantity of human excrement, rubbish bags, domestic items and litter were left behind.
Ron Ball, Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire, visited the site today (Monday, December 7) and was appalled by the mess.
He is pushing for tougher powers for local authorities and the police to be able to deal with illegal encampments more effectively and quickly.
Speaking to the Advertiser at the scene, Mr Ball said: “This was a really unpleasant incident with a large number of travellers setting up camp here.
“They left rubbish and used the area as public toilet, and parents felt intimidated by it and I can completely understand that.
“In my view it would be really helpful if a couple of vehicles were seized from the travellers and they got them back when they paid for the clear up.
“We’re waiting for Ruby Borough Council to come and sort this mess out but why should the law-abiding people of Warwickshire pay for that?”
Mr Ball added: “I would also be very keen to stress that I do not put all travellers in the same category. I’ve had good relationships with the Kenilworth Horse Fair and some very law -abiding people who live the sort of life that we wouldn’t all want to but they abide by some rules.
“The people here seem to want to completely ignore the rules and that is absolutely not acceptable.”
While police have powers to tackle unauthorised encampments in certain circumstances, they have no powers to move them on when they are set up on the public highway, unless there is an alternative site to move them to or they are causing an obstruction to the highway, which point they can only be summonsed to court. In the case outside Rugby Free Primary School, the camp was not illegal, and therefore police monitored the situation and patrolled the area but were not able to move the travellers on.
Local authorities have responsibility for obtaining court orders to move on encampments on the public highway and on public land if the travellers fail to move on when asked, however in practice the process for obtaining an order from the courts is relatively lengthy; on average it currently takes 21 days.
PC Stuart Baker is one of the constables that has been patrolling the area outside Rugby Free Primary School.
He said: “We have been providing a high level of overt policing in this area to reassure parents and business owners.
“We note down registrations of the caravans and run them through our systems in case we need to be aware of anything in regards to the occupants of the caravans.
“We turned up this morning to do an enhanced patrol of the school area to find that the travellers moved on late last night, which is positive news for the users of this area.
“The travellers have left behind litter, bin liners, general domestic items and human waste. Rugby Borough Council is coming to clear it up. I don’t know how much it will cost but it’s necessary as it’s a health and safety issue.”
At present, Warwickshire has a shortage of emergency stopping places - areas designated by local authorities where travellers are permitted to stay for short periods before moving on - limiting further the powers available to police.
Proposals to increase the number across the county are set to be debated by Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet on Thursday.