POLICE are investigating a suspected feud between travellers in Wickford after a caravan pitch was allegedly smashed up with a digger.

Officers were called to Hovefields Avenue after being alerted by a member of the public to a man in a digger demolishing the wall of an unauthorised pitch known as Hatchertang.

The drama unfolded on Sunday, two days after an empty police car was parked at the end of the road.

Fencing and a demountable building at the plot were also allegedly damaged during the incident.

A resident from the area who would not be named said: “There was a big group of people down by the plot watching.

A bloke drove down and knocked down the wall. You can only think he is having some trouble with the owner.

“A police car then shot down the lane at great speed and was there in about ten minutes.”

Hatchertang is owned by the McCann family, who also own a house at the end of the avenue, near the A127.

According to residents, a police car had been parked opposite the house since Friday evening, but with no officers in it. Essex Police would only say the car was there for “operational reasons,” but the force has been known to park cars in areas to act as a deterrent when intelligence suggests problems could arise.

A spokeswoman said: “Police received reports of a disturbance at around 4.30pm on Sunday. Officers attended and found a large group of people.

“There appeared to be damage to a wall and fencing, but it was not clear when it had been caused. We have passed it to neighbourhood police officers who will be trying to get in contact with the owner to see if any offences have been committed.”