SIX caravans have pitched up on the field of a popular public park, leaving families feeling unsafe to visit.

It’s believed the travellers, which set up on a field at Shoebury Park, Elm Road, pitched up at around 5.45pm on Monday.

Nearby residents have since aired their concerns about the arrival, with one mum claiming 15 to 20 children were occupying the field and skate park earlier this afternoon.

After Essex Police and council officers paid a visit to the encampment, the group were issued a notice requiring they leave by 10am tomorrow.

This comes shortly after a traveller group moved on from the green space on the junctions of Maplin Way North, Barnstaple Road and Bishopsteignton on Monday evening.

Kirsty Graham, who lives in flats which overlook the park, was shocked to see what she says were at least six caravans arriving at the site.


The 24-year-old from Shoebury, said: “I was shocked to see them pitched up so close to my home. Knowing about previous issues there have been in the past, I was worried the whole field would fill quickly.

"There were at least six caravans there but there weren’t any problems on the first night. 

“Yesterday however there were about 15 to 20 children occupying the field and skate park, which was very off putting when I know loads of residents around here have children that use that park too.

“I don’t feel safe taking my daughter to the park now, she’s only two. It’s not fair on local residents that we should have to feel this way, especially when we live here.”

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Martin Terry, cabinet member for community safety and customer contact, said: “We don’t want anyone to feel intimidated in our open spaces, we want the borough to be a place families can comfortably enjoy.

"If anyone has any concerns, I would strongly urge them to report it to the council.

“It appears there’s been an up-kick in traveller activity- when it gets to the summer months we tend to usually have more coming in. The coronavirus pandemic however does make it a bit more difficult to move them on, but the council is very much aware of the group who arrived Monday night.

“It’s not as simple as asking them to leave but we are doing what we can.”

A spokesperson from Essex Police, said: “We received reports at around 5.45pm Monday, about an unauthorised traveller encampment in Shoebury Park, Southend

“Today, we served a notice under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, directing travellers to leave the land by 10am tomorrow.

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