POLICE have taken swift action against a host of recent traveller encampments in south Essex.

Following the arrival of the around 20 caravan encampment in Sun Corner, High Street, Billericay on Saturday July 21, police have been following the convoys as they have hopped from camp to camp.

Police attended Queens Park Country Park where a ten caravan camp was removed. However, a separate camp still remains on the site. A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were contacted at around 10.15pm on Thursday, July 26, about two unauthorised traveller encampments in Queens Park County Park. We attended and contacted the land owner, Basildon Council, who we continue to liaise with.

“We are monitoring the situation and our Gypsy and Traveller Rural Engagement Team has been liaising closely with one of the encampments.”

A section 61 notice was served to the camp on Sunday July 29 following reports of criminal damage. Andrew Schrader, councillor for Billericay East told the Echo the police took action against the encampment following just one report from the public.

The other encampment in Queens Park was not removed at the same time as there was no evidence of the group committing a criminal offence.

A spokesman added: “The act of trespass is a civil matter and we work with landowners to try and resolve this matters as quickly as possible.”

Further action was taken by police on two occasions when they arrived in Stock and Redwing FC in Barleylands Road.

A police spokesman added: “The encampment was served a section 61 notice on Sunday, July 29, and after leaving the site they travelled to Stock Road, Stock, where they were given a warning and left. We then received a further call that they had moved onto land at Barleylands in Billericay, where they were once again served section 61 notices following reports of criminal damage.

“A teenager has since been dealt with through a community resolution, where they paid compensation and gave a verbal apology.”

A Basildon Council spokesperson said: “Officers from the Essex Countywide Traveller Unit (ECTU) attended court today to successfully obtain a repossession order, which gives the occupiers of six caravans which remain at Queens Park Country Park 24 hours to leave.

“Failure to comply will result in bailiffs attending the site to remove the caravans.”

Another four caravans were found to have pitched up on the site yesterday afternoon.

The council said it will continue to work with ECTU and police to remove the camp quickly.