Encampment Clamp Down

This morning a large police operation was carried out on the Playa de Enmedio in Almuñécar against a new-age travellers encampmment.

ALM Playa de Enmedia Encampment ClearanceAccording to a reliable source, a convoy of eight police vehicles arrived on Playa de Enmedio around 11.00h and began getting the occupants out of the campervans and other vehicles, which numbered around 30, most of which had arrived over the weekend.

Using sniffer dogs, each person was searched and with the occupants waiting outside the dogs were let into each vehicle in search of drugs.

Besides adults and children (including babies), the encampment also had quite a few dogs – one woman reportedly had five dogs living in her vehicle with her.

Apparently, no night curfew had been observed during the weekend nor masks used amongst British, French, German, Austrian, Italian and Spanish people belonging to the encampment.

After the identification of individuals and a search of the campsite vehicles, the campervans were sent on their way and municipal cleaning crews moved in to remove the accumulated rubbish – it took two refuse lorries to complete the task.

What remains to be removed in the great quantity of human excrement and toilet paper in the bushes that border the beach.

We spoke to the Councillor for Citizen Safety, Francisco Robles, who in consultation with the Councillor for Beaches, Daniel Barbero, said that this problem would be eliminated this week at the latest.

This beach has always been a periodic venue for new-age travellers but there has never been such a large concentration of them at any given moment. This probably has something to do with the crack down being carried out on encampments within the municipality of Órgiva.

(News: Almunecar, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

  16 comments for “Encampment Clamp Down

  1. DOM
    April 8, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    Hello, I’ve, spent much time on this beach several summers running, first off most of the excrement left which is disgusting is from locals or car users. I’m not saying every van there is perfect, but everytime we we were there we picked up loads of rubbish, we got to know the guy who came to collect rubbish, lovely chap.

    One of the big problems was for several months no rubbish during lockdown was collected so we and several other vans cleaned the area and drove the rubbish ourselves in our van to the big bins by Lidl.

    There’s a lot of inaccuracies in the comments here. First off the signage relates to camping, camping is different to sleeping in any vehicle which under Spanish law unless there is a local decree it isn’t illegal.

    Second again to state the greater proportion of poo comes from cars as anyone one living in their vehicle as we do have facilities ie toilets, cars do not. In the summer 70%of those sleeping there and 100% of people camping with tents or gazebos were Spanish most likely locals.

    Additionally it’s crazy the police chose a lockdown to do a clear out. When they are also clearing out travellers, nomads and vanlifers from Orgiva etc. Not very smart timing.

    This beach also has been used in this fashion since the 70s nothing new. Just small minded people often wrongly judging and passing the blame and behaving in a xenophobic fashion.

    Lastly a, question the 100s of locals who park and also camp there through the summer to enjoy the beach where will they go?

    The person stating new age travellers, wow! We do live in our van but we are a family, also company tax paying directors. We parked with a freind a retiree in his motorhome, another UK couple on holiday and so on.

    When the guardia tried to move us from there we were friendly but quoted the law which they agreed with so said we could stay no problem.

    The signage and law relating to no parking on the beach legally ends at the line where the track at the side is, so again perfectly legal to park there even overnight.

  2. Carmen
    February 16, 2021 at 8:11 am

    Niko is a probably member of what is called the alternative community who believe that the world revolves around them and they are free to do as they wish. When Niko starts branding people he has never met you know he has lost the argument. Let us play as well: I guess that you take loads of drugs, don’t care about being unsocialable to people around you and probably expect to get things for free – correct? Such a great contribution to this amazing country of ours!

  3. February 15, 2021 at 8:57 am

    Bigjump.me: What surprises me is that you glide over the fact that camping on the beach is forbidden; you can’t do it in a camper van and you can’t do it in a tent… you can’t even do it in a sleeping bag. The only night you are allowed to sleep on a beach is on San Juan.

    Secondly, there are special beaches for dogs… but even there, you cannot let them crap on the beach. So having human excrement in the bushes at the back of the beaches is…. not permissible.

    Evidently, you are confusing camper vanning; i.e. people (normally retired and having the money to purchase such vehicles) from over the Pyrenees with those wishing to live an alternative life style (dating back to the late 60s) rejecting the “bourgeois” society,

    The Gazette is all in favour of camper-van tourism and has published many articles supporting this form of tourism, whilst criticising the local authorities’ illogical objections to it.

    So, instead of disdainfully denouncing “inaccurate journalism” you might like to revise your “inaccurate criticism.”

  4. Bigjump.me
    February 15, 2021 at 7:52 am

    I’m surprised at this article as it is so far from the reality of the situation there. It is so inaccurate and a misrepresentation of the “Leave no Trace” philosophy of the Vanlife and wild camping community. It appears that the author sourced his information from the police, hence the inaccurate journalism.
    There are bins provided by the council and the increased numbers of vans there due to people staying still in compliance with Covid related restrictions are likely to mean that they needed emptying more frequently, but weren’t. I know people who were there and have stayed there myself in the past and never met anyone close to those depicted in this appalling piece.

  5. Pat Storey (Scots/Irish blood, London born.)
    February 14, 2021 at 11:56 am

    My my Niko. Throwing your toys out of your pram. Whats up . Did you get turned down for legal status in the UK. ?
    You do realise that many many people live in Spain ? That either live here full time or summers. From all over Europe. Or even the old eastern bloc , now free countries. Or New Europe. !
    You are veering towards a rather racist tone.
    No I do not wear a hankie on my head, kiss me quick hat or roll my long trousers up when going to the beach. Walking boots to avoid human and dog waste in certain areas though. !!
    When did a report about illegal camping and waste become a anti brit issue. ??

  6. Niko Kalevi Pohjasto
    February 13, 2021 at 10:49 pm

    Lol. Oh you guys. Gotta love these Tory voting types who come and colonialize fiestandalucia, then shout “heartily” how “Spanish” these “Gavin” and “Tina’ in their holyday’ homes have actually managed to become. Bravo!

  7. Pat Storey
    February 12, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    Niko and Zenja.
    I heartily agree with you. These blooming Brits have some front.!! Guests in Spain themselves. !!How very dare they complain about human and dog waste in a beach area.!! I have no idea where you originate from. But I am led to believe that the Police in most of the old eastern bloc countries. Would be very firm to those polluting a beach area. I am also sure that one or two Spanish people would have made a official complaint to the local authorities here. I am sure that you both as good kind people .will invite these children of the earth. To park outside your home and offer them your toilets, so that they can clean up. I myself give to them with the odd euro and dog food at my local supermarket.

  8. Billy
    February 11, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    After reading that the beach had been cleaned up, I decided to go down there with my dog today (Thursday) at mid-day. Imagine my surprise to see 6 Guardia Civil cars and 2 Policia Local cars there! It looked like there was a high level meeting in progress, as some of the Officers had gold braid on their hats. Also one person not in uniform.

    They also ejected 4 more traveller vans…..

    The dog remains un-walked!

    Ian might like to know there was another cleaning van down there too – if there was no rubbish left behind, maybe they were just cleaning up all the fairey dust?

  9. February 11, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    Ian: If it was biased reporting, you wouldn’t have got your say here, now, would you.

    How would you like to be described, seeing as N.A.T. upsets you?

    The “biased” reporter spoke with the Councillor for Citizen Safety (head of the municipal police) and the Councillor for Beaches before publishing. He also interviewed an eye witness, again, before publishing.

    The beach is not yours, nor anybody’s as since Franco’s time, they have been public property. I came out of here in 1981 before Spain even belonged to the Common Market/EU and even back then, you couldn’t camp on the beaches nor light bonfires. Full stop. Did you do that knowing full well that it was illegal?

    Why did it take two refuse lorries to clear the place up, Ian, if there was no rubbish? Are you disputing this even though the second one arrived after you left?

    Vale, que la situación es bastante jodida con lo de la pandemia y vayas donde vayas te van a decir que te marches, pero lo sabías ante mano, ¿A que sí? Quieres vivir lo así; este estilo de vida? De puta madre, me parece estupendo, pero no me vengas con esta mierda sobre “el reportero.” Yo no te digo como vivir tu vida y tú no me digas como escribir un jodido artículo.

    Now, if you have to find somebody to translate that for you, then you are in no position to criticise whom you term as “expats,” because this isn’t Benidorm nor Torremolinos, Ian; this is Granada where foreigners that have had the good fortune to live here, thanks to the hospitality of Los Españoles, live and abide by their rules – you should try it sometime.

  10. John O'Connor
    February 11, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    Niko

    I disagree with everything thing you have said. The British people in Spain now are resident immigrants, not expats. They are full tax paying members of society who contribute to Spanish national and local government coffers. Anyone who is not registered to live in Spain can be moved on, out of the country, once they have overstayed their permitted time.

  11. Ian Peachy
    February 11, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    What a biased report, “new age travellers” a British term used in the 1990’s https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Age_travellers

    I was there the reporter wasn’t, whilst unfortunate that we got evicted, there was not rubbish around the site like stated, people kept the place clean, the reason most were there was because of covid travel restrictions, whereby different countries have different rules.

    In Spain the rules seem to change daily and no-one not even the police know what’s going on.

    I have to say the police were polite but firm.

    Biased reporting is upsetting because the reporter had he bothered could have interviewed people to get perspective.

  12. Heddy
    February 11, 2021 at 10:00 am

    As a person who used to enjoy the beach in years gone by I would just like to say that in my opinion no one feels they own the beach let alone ‘expat Brits’. It is there to be enjoyed by everyone no matter the nationality. This beach has always been popular with the Spanish particularly when the weather warms up. We are expats who have chosen to come and live in Spain and enjoy our lifestyle and the warmth that the Spanish have shown us welcoming us into their towns and beaches. In return we respect their laws and their culture. We pay taxes that go towards ensuring that the common places like beaches are maintained and looked after to keep them healthy and safe for people to visit.. It is more important during the present Covid risk that people have a place to exercise and get fresh air whilst obeying the laws to wear a mask when outside and socially distance. Why would anyone park there to live when there are clearly signs erected by the council instructing anyone not to camp there or light bonfires. To do so is breaking the law so one has to deal with the consequences if the police arrive.

  13. Kate
    February 11, 2021 at 9:42 am

    So a load of camper vans turn up at a local beauty spot – a location without any sanitation facilities – and turn it from a beauty spot to be enjoyed by all – into a campsite with rubbish and excrement accumulating – and they are somehow outraged that local people are upset? And are they really surprised that they were moved on from other places?

  14. Niko Kalevi Pohjasto
    February 10, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    Seems that some of the area “locals”,here meaning British Expats now think they Own this Barranco Enmedio,even it being partly PRIVATE PROPERTY not velo going to this Juan,and decide who or how long people like themselves,expats,can STAY?
    Sucky attitude,yet,now there was way “too many of them”there?WHY?Cause these been evicted already from ALL THE OTHER PLACES cause of the likes of you?
    “It is my place”?
    Well,no it is not.
    I feel SAD for these young nice people being chased around without a place to go?

  15. Zenja Zukarov
    February 10, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    I was withnessing this eviction and I think,the police mistreated these cute young hippies and treated them like criminals.Even if these are just mainly young sweet TURISTS who are trapped here for the COViD-19?Where SHOuLD THEY GO?Tell me?

  16. Gavin
    February 8, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    Hello Martin, I am extremely grateful to the authorities for this police operation and the ensuing cleanup.

    As a resident within walking distance to Playa Enmedio (I am confident I speak for many of us in our community), we greatly enjoy this beach and the Chiringuito operated by Juan and his family except that last year they couldn’t open due to coronavirus. Many of us desperately hope they would reopen this year.

    This beach is not a designated camper van location and has no support facilities. The filth and human/dog waste that these campers leave behind is a significant public health hazard, especially during a global pandemic, and also because we all want to enjoy the chiringuito without having to worry about sanitary conditions surrounding the restaurant. Our families want to enjoy this beautiful beach without having to worry about stepping in excrement and contaminated beach water.

    How can we lobby to the authorities for a campaign to make this beach safe, clean, sanitary and publicly accessible?

    After having gone through this major police operation and after bearing expenses to remove the camper vans and clean up the entire beach area, I am hopeful the authorities themselves would want to avoid future expenses by maintaining proper conditions and enforcement, and turning this into a beautiful, clean, and sustainable public asset for all to enjoy.

    Many thanks in advance for any advice you could provide.

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