Caravan parked illegally in Waterlooville woods goes up in flames

POLICE want to discover who owned a filthy caravan which was found burned out in woods next to a housing estate.

Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 6:06 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 12:04 pm
The illegal encampment in woods off Woodsedge, in Waterlooville

For a month two young men had been living in the woods – first in a tent, then in a large caravan they managed to tow through the thick woodland one night.

The land, off Woodsedge, Waterlooville, runs along the A3M and is owned by the Highways Agency. Court orders had been taken out to evict the men but both camps were abandoned before they were served.

The men are believed to have been recently banned from living in a property in Laburnum Road, Waterlooville, which is occupied by a vulnerable person.

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They then set up a tent in the woods but disappeared leaving a huge mess behind.

The caravan appeared more than a week ago but was abandoned and then caught fire at the weekend.

The twisted metal frame and piles of rubbish are all that is left.

No one was hurt in the fire, which took hold on Saturday morning.

Inspector Dave Humphries from Waterlooville police said: ‘The original encampment was left in the most awful mess, which Havant Borough Council cleaned up pretty quickly.

‘There were old duvets, lots of food waste, human excrement, beer cans. The woods are very close to the houses and it was a hazard.’

At 9.40am on Saturday were spotted coming from the empty caravan. It took an hour to put the blaze out.

Police began an investigation but now believe the fire was started accidently, either by a discarded cigarette or by the stove being left on.

Insp Humphries added: ‘We have never managed to confirm ownership of the caravan, which is what we would like to do.

‘We would ask anyone with information to contact us on 101.