More than a dozen traveller caravans are on unauthorised sites on the Isle of Wight.

New figures show that, in January, all of the 14 gypsy, Roma and traveller caravans on the Island were situated on unauthorised sites, without planning permission.

All of the unauthorised sites were declared to be tolerated by the local authority, meaning no active efforts were being made to move them on.

Not tolerated sites include those where a planning enforcement notice has been served, or where an injunction has been sought against the encampment.

Data released by the council in 2015 — the most recent available — said there were no public permanent sites owned by the council, no transit sites owned by the council, two private sites with a temporary permission, one unauthorised site which is the subject of a legal judgement, meaning the residents cannot be moved until a site is built for them, and ten other observed unauthorised sites on the Isle of Wight.

In the 2011 census, 94 people identified themselves as gypsies or Irish travellers on the Isle of Wight — they are most likely to be living in ‘bricks and mortar’ accommodation as census forms are only delivered to settled accommodation.

Research by the council found 33 unauthorised caravans and vehicles, located in nine parishes.

Jim Davies, from the Traveller Movement, said: “It is clear the UK has a gypsy and traveller population that has as much right to be here as the rest of society and this population is not going to ‘go away’ with more police powers and draconian measures aimed at moving them on

“The government should focus on supporting local authorities to build more authorised sites and stopping places, and to allow Gypsies and Travellers who want sites on their own land equitable access to the planning system.”

Across England, nearly 3,000 traveller caravans were on unauthorised sites in January. The total number of traveller caravans in England has increased steadily over recent years — there were nearly 23,000 in January, an increase of more than 5,000 over a decade.