Police take 'swift action' to remove travellers from Southsea Common and Pembroke Gardens
TRAVELLERS that encamped illegally in Southsea have been removed following ‘swift action’ from police.
Clusters of parked caravans were spotted on Southsea Common and Pembroke Gardens on Monday, having camped there on Sunday night.
Officers liaised with the landowner, and used appropriate legal measures to disperse the camp at 6.30pm yesterday.
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Portsmouth Chief Inspector Paul Markham said: ‘In using these powers, Hampshire Constabulary will always ensure that we balance the needs and rights of all our communities with actions that are proportionate, lawful and necessary.
‘I hope this swift action to move the travellers on from locations that were unsuitable will convey to all sections of the community that a robust approach will be taken against encampments within legal parameters.
‘We will continue to work closely with partner agencies and private landowners to manage unauthorised encampments and identify repeat locations where there has been criminality or disorder in order to target harden these sites.’
Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 was used to remove the travellers.
The legal measure can be used in certain circumstances, and in this case, it was taken as amenities were deprived from local residents.
Several camps have formed in Portsmouth, Fareham, Havant, and Wickham in the last month.
One camp had also previously parked on Southsea Common in May.
Portsmouth City Council leader, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, expressed his concerns about how regular these incidents occur.
Travellers have also been spotted pitching in a field next to Grange school, in Gosport, this morning.
This sparked concerns from local residents.