BASILDON councillors have urged police to make arrests on a group of travellers for their alleged anti-social behaviour in a supermarket.

The travellers set up camp in the Tesco car park, in Langdon Hills, on Saturday, leaving behind a mass of rubbish as well as allegedly causing a scene inside the superstore.

It was reported that the group walked in and out of the store causing a nuisance, resulting in Tesco staff clearing the shelves of electrical goods and spirits in a bid to deter them.

Staff, including security guards, were also instructed not to challenge them.

UKIP councillor Steven Hodge said: “We have received several complaints about this incident which was lawless, like something from the Wild West.

"Tesco staff were instructed not to challenge them.

"It seems it is one rule for us and other for the travellers.”

Independent councillor Kerry Smith added: “Apparently the staff were threatened by the main leader of the traveller group not to get them arrested or they would trash the store. The staff then emptied many of the shelves because they were walking in an out and taking what they wanted, as well as using the toilets like a washroom.

“Yesterday afternoon I contacted the Police Crime and Fire commissioner of Essex, to get his officers out and get them arrested for public order offences.”

It is believed that the same group were spotted on the Friday evening up at Sainsbury’s in Eastmayne, Basildon, before moving onto a grass verge on Westmayne. They then went over to the Tesco, in Mandeville Way, Langdon Hills the following day where the chaos occurred. Private enforcement officers finally moved them on and served them with Section 61 notices.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “On Sunday we dealt with instances of anti-social behaviour in our Basildon Langdon Hills superstore, with support from the local police.

“We would like to apologise for any inconvenience to our customers and can confirm the matter is now resolved.”

Crimewatch Basildon's Facebook page posted information yesterday afternoon (Monday 19 February), that the same group had been seen in a truck lay-by on the B148 Westmayne near Toomey’s Vauxhall.

A staff member at Toomey’s confirmed that they were around although not causing any trouble.

Locals took to Facebook to post their thoughts on the situation.

Sarah Tideswell posted: “Saw them taking my son to work at Tesco, they had to shut the garage because they were causing trouoble over there. Rubbish everywher! Some travellers aren’t that bad but these lot are here to cause trouble and chaos.”

Paul Kirby posted: “They are on there because they tried earlier to get back on the verge nearer to Lidls and messed up the verge again, the ground is ripped up and littered again.”

Rosie Snape posted: “I work at the four seasons and they were parked alongside us by the dual carriageway I have just driven past and the whole side of the road is littered with rubbish. Disgusting.”