Portsmouth councillor left '˜frustrated' by travellers who '˜know how the game is played'  Â

A Portsmouth councillor has been left 'frustrated' over travellers who '˜know how the game is played'.  Â

Thursday, 16th August 2018, 5:19 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 10:08 pm
Travellers have set up a camp at Canoe Lake, Portsmouth

A group set up a camp at Canoe Lake in Southsea on Wednesday night and have been issued with a legal notice to move on by Portsmouth City Council.

Pictures show three caravans as well as a number of other vehicles and a low-loader on the site. 

Councillor Steve Pitt, cabinet member for culture at the council, posted on Facebook to say the travellers '˜drove on via the zebra crossing'. 

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Travellers have set up a camp at Canoe Lake, Portsmouth

He added: '˜Obviously the situation is frustrating to deal with.

'˜We understand that residents are frustrated, and I'm frustrated. We have people contacting us who are quite rightly concerned.

'˜The council was reacting to the situation within five minutes of the incursion on the site - everyone springs into action when incursions happen.

'˜We are working as effectively and efficiently as we can, but the law is the law. We haven't seen an increase in anti-social incidents.

'˜There has been no animosity or acrimony so far '“ they know how the game is played, they know they have a limited time before they have to move on.

'˜We had already placed extra boulders along the seafront to deter incursions, but if we placed walls or bollards at every possible point along the seafront, we would ruin the look of the area.

'˜There are more incursions happening across the south of England, as there are fewer travelling communities travelling to the West of Ireland.'

A spokesman for Portsmouth City Council said: '˜We have issued legal notice requiring them to leave immediately. 

'˜We are working with police and our partners to resolve the situation. 

'˜If they fail to leave then court action will follow.' 

An eyewitness, who asked not to be named, said: '˜I just want people to know so they can be moved on to a more suitable and less used site.

'˜I was there when they arrived and called the police.

'˜I went for a run and they are still there.

 '˜There also appears to be more waiting on the seafront.'