Residents have said they have felt like they have been ‘trapped in their homes’ after travellers pitched up on a park in Peterborough, and ignored a council eviction notice.
Peterborough City Council carried out a welfare visit on Monday, (August 19), and issued a Section 77 notice on the same day. The notice gave the group until 5pm on Wednesday, (August 22) to leave, otherwise the council would take action.
But the group had still not left by Friday.
Police have now started to make extra patrols in the area as a result of concerns by residents about a number of incidents.
Residents living in the area spoke of impact the group had on the neighbourhood, with one person saying: “We have vehicle movement on the field and footpaths through the night and several drunken arguments have been heard amongst the travellers late at night and in early hours of morning.
“We are feeling both intimidated and restricted in the area in which we live and pay towards being maintained.
“Local children feel unable to use the children’s play park as it is continually full of traveller children. Travellers have been observed openly defecating in the adjoining field, next to the primary school playground.”
Another resident said; “Living with the encampment is a nightmare.
“My children have lost the use of two parks.
“We have all been locked in our houses for four days now, my husband has had to take days off or work from home.”
Orton Waterville councillor Julie Howell said: “I was first made aware of the residents concerns at the weekend. There was an encampment at this same spot a few weeks ago and I have asked the council to take measures to make the site secure as soon as the site has been vacated again. I have remained in regular touch with the police and the council as well as the residents of the two streets that back onto the park, keeping everyone informed and reminding residents who are concerned about anything to contact the appropriate authorities.”
“The area of concern is a field that includes a children’s playground. With it being the summer holidays, and with another playground in Orton Goldhay closed for refurbishment, people are understandably frustrated.”
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue said they were called to a fire which had been started deliberately in the front garden of a property in Beckingham on Thursday (August 22).
The fire was started in a bin at about 8.45pm.
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said: “Extra patrols are being carried out in the area.
“Officers are liaising with those at the site on a daily basis and we continue to work with Peterborough City Council to monitor the site and address any issues should they arise.”
A Peterborough City Council spokesman said: “We are awaiting a court date to apply for a Section 78 notice, which would require us to give 24 hours notice before evicting the group.”