Hayling residents at their wits' end as travellers break into Mengham Park and poo on people's fences
FURIOUS residents at their wits’ end are considering taking vigilante-style action against a group of travellers who set up an illegal camp in a park.
About 10 caravans and trucks have pitched up at Mengham Park, on Hayling Island, after travellers allegedly broke through the open space’s new defences on Thursday.
Locals claim the illegally-camped visitors have defecated across the field, with a video on social media appearing to show used toilet roll scattered across the community space.
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Havant Borough Council has launched legal action to forcibly remove the travellers, the authority’s leader, Councillor Alex Rennie said.
But the problem has outraged people living nearby, who say the encampment staged loud parties into the early hours over the weekend.
One 56-year-old mother, whose home backs onto the field, said: ‘I just feel tired and stressed. It’s just horrible. We couldn’t sleep. I have a son with aspergers and he is stressed out.
‘I saw them defecating behind my fence. I tried to call 101 over the weekend because they were partying until 4am.
‘But it just seems like no-one is touching them. That’s the thing that’s bothering people.
‘It makes you wonder if people are going to become vigilantes to do something about this. I would honestly say people would probably want to.’
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The arrival comes months after another group of travellers trashed the park, ripping out saplings planted to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in May.
Cllr Rennie said Havant borough was now looking to ‘review’ the defences around Mengham.
He added: ‘We’re aware of the illegal encampment at Mengham Park. We’re taking swift action to go through the legal process to serve notice on that group. We’re due in court today to get a court order to move them on.’
He added: ‘It’s clearly disappointing that they’re using their own means to move the boulders.
‘We’re clearly committed to defend our land from travelling incursions and stopping the problems associated with that.
‘[But] I feel really strongly that we can and do more to tackle it. That’s why it’s been a real priority we have invested in more defensive work… We will now have to review the effectiveness of those defences.’
The News has approached Hampshire police for comment.