THE travellers who set up camp in Emsworth have been given notice to leave, but police said they are ‘not causing any problems’.
A Havant Borough Council spokeswoman said: “A notice to quit was issued this morning (February 18), and we have got a court date on Wednesday afternoon. If the travellers are still there on Wednesday afternoon they will be given 24 hours to leave.”
Ten caravans and two vehicles arrived at a layby off the A259, Havant Road, in Emsworth.
Last summer, the very same spot was invaded and the travellers stayed for almost a fortnight before being evicted.
Emsworth councillor Brendan Gibb-Gray said: “They left a huge amount of rubbish and litter and no doubt it’s going to be the same this time.
“This is not the first time it’s happened and it’s not going to be the last.”
He also expressed concern about the A27 underpass by the site, and said: “In the meantime, people can’t use the throughway – cyclists are a bit intimidated, walkers certainly.”
A police statement said: “Hampshire Constabulary continues to work closely alongside Havant Borough Council to resolve this situation safely and peacefully.
“Police are visiting and patrolling the area each day to speak with the travellers, and keep local residents informed to provide reassurance. We’d like to thank council officials for their assistance.
“This group of travellers is not causing any problems that justify the immediate use of police powers. These will be kept under review each day by assessing the impact on the community.
“If there are any concerns relating to any disturbance or anti-social behaviour arising from the travellers occupying the ground, members of the public can contact the police by phoning 101.”
Hampshire Constabulary pointed out responsibility for the removal of unauthorised encampments lies with the landowner but it would work together with landowners and partner agencies including local authorities to support the process.
A spokesman said: “We are continuing to work with local authorities to find sustainable long-term solutions, and not simply move the encampment on from one area to another.
“The aim of the Constabulary is to treat all citizens in Hampshire fairly and to recognise the need to ensure the legitimate rights and needs of both the travellers and the local settled community are observed.”
There were also reports of travellers at the car park of the derelict Coach and Horses car park in Westhampnett, and at the mini roundabout at the end of Barnfield Road, Chichester, on Friday (February 15).