Fringe Box



Surrey Police to Investigate Alleged Assault By GBC Security at Stoney Castle

Published on: 24 Jul, 2021
Updated on: 24 Jul, 2021

A pump vehicle being admitted to the “illegal” dump site at Stoney Castle, Pirbright.

By Hugh Coakley

Surrey Police are investigating an allegation of assault at Pirbright dump now under the control of Guildford Borough Council.

The alleged assault on Daniel Hill, the son of the owner, by security personnel contracted by GBC at the Stoney Castle site, is said to have taken place Saturday, July 18 while police officers were present. An email seen by The Dragon NEWS from Surrey Police confirms they are investigating.

Mr Hill was attending the site, by appointment, to make an inventory of goods on the site owned by himself and his father, Robin Hill, the site owner. It was reported Daniel Hill was handcuffed and led from the site but was later released after discussions between the police and the security officers.

The controversial waste site was taken over by GBC on July 12 in an unannounced early morning operation. Three occupants were evicted and the site and the approaches closed off.

See: GBC Dramatic Early Morning Operation At Stoney Castle To Stop Illegal Dumping).

A notice handed to the occupants said the council would “sell or dispose” of all items left on site after July 20. Clearance of the site was said to have started on Thursday, July 22 and continued yesterday (July 23).

A Surrey Police spokesperson said: “Officers received a report of an alleged assault that occurred on Grange Road, Pirbright, on Saturday, 17 July, at around 1.45pm. An investigation is currently ongoing.”

A GBC spokesperson said: “We are aware of an alleged incident that took place at Stoney Castle during our work to achieve compliance with the outstanding planning enforcement and environmental health notices. The police are currently investigating the allegation and we are unable to give any details at this time.

“We are continuing our work to achieve compliance with the outstanding planning enforcement and environmental health notices at Stoney Castle. We are acting under our statutory powers which means that we can take the steps required by the enforcement and environmental health notices, where those responsible for complying with a notice have not done so.

“We have started to remove caravans, a barn and other non-waste items being stored on the land. We continue to work in partnership with Surrey County Council and the Environment Agency who have responsibility for the waste on this site.”

No notice of the bridleway closure could be seen. At the base of the “Police Slow” sign was a small furled banner, only discernable within a few feet, that read “Road Closed”. It is not known if this was positioned by Surrey or MoD police.

Dragon editor Martin Giles visited the site yesterday to check on the status of a bridleway that is used to access the site. A security guard/dog handler at the entrance of the bridleway said that it was closed adding: “No one in, no one out.”

No notice of closure was obviously visible and when asked what the authority was for the closure the guard called the “bailiff” who appeared to be in charge and who gave his name as Nick Perrin.

Mr Perrin confirmed the closure and said it had been ordered by the Ministry of Defence over whose land the bridleway runs. When asked about the closure process and the lack of an official notice the bailiff became verbally aggressive and threatened to have Martin Giles’ car towed away even though he explained he was in the middle of answering a call from the head of communications at GBC.

GBC has been asked to provide a copy of any closure order that exists.

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Responses to Surrey Police to Investigate Alleged Assault By GBC Security at Stoney Castle

  1. L Lynch Reply

    July 24, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    I have been shocked and stunned by what I’ve just read.

    If it is confirmed that Guildford Borough Council security contractors have assaulted anyone, no matter who it is, and have threatened to tow away the car of a reporter who was questioning the status of the bridleway, then I think they should be reminded that we do not live in a police state. This is not acceptable behaviour from a borough council and those involved in any failure to follow proper procedures should be held responsible for their actions.

    We keep being told that it is a multi-agency approach and councillors with others are working closely with GBC to sort out the situation at the site. So I am assuming that all those involved including Surrey County Council, the Environment Agency, Cllr Keith Witham, Mark Bray-Parry and Cllr James Steel are working as a team, are fully aware of what is happening and support the way in which GBC is handling the matter.

    If I wasn’t so angry, I think I would actually be quite frightened because of the way the borough council obviously believes they, and those whom they employ, are a law unto themselves, believing they can run roughshod over the public. Absolutely disgraceful.

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