The arrival of two convoys of travellers has forced a Canvey cinema to take its security into its own hands after a series of incidents which infuriated its owner and led to him taking decisive action.

Movie Starr Cinema in Eastern Esplanade has been forced to monitor the door of the building throughout the day in order to keep their customers safe and to prevent petty thieving from a new group of travellers that have arrived on the seafront.

Shane Parking, 36, the owner of the cinema, said: “As customers were leaving, the travellers were sneaking into the screens to watch the films.

“They were also stealing the pick and mix as they left.

“Me and a couple guys who work here are standing on the front door to make sure they cannot come in to the cinema.”

One group of travellers, who had camped in the car park of the former Admiral Jellicoe pub on the island, have now moved on although the other group who are encamped on land adjacent to Western Esplanade still remain.

MP Rebecca Harris has praised Castle Point Council for the effective way it is dealing with travellers moving onto land in the borough.

She said: “The council has been quite proactive and were at the seafront within an hour of that particular group arriving.

“I must say I was quite impressed by the speed of response.”

Castle Point Council has continued to do all in its power to combat the rise in traveller communities either attempting to or managing to set up camp in the area in recent years.

It has also advised businesses and landowners on how best to implement preventative measures which are designed to keep travellers off both private and public land on the island.