Police forced to step in after travellers set up camp right outside family leisure centre

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Police said they were alerted to the unauthorised encampment just before 7pm on Monday. Reports held a total of 35 caravans and 40 vehicles were on the field behind Places Leisure off Passfield Avenue in Eastleigh.

Officers visited the site, and said at the time they were continuing to monitor the situation.

The force also worked with the landowners and its groups in the area to “seek a suitable resolution”.

On Wednesday morning, police had used Section 61 powers to ask them to leave the area.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesperson said: “Following a review of the circumstances, and in consultation with the landowners, the criteria for the use of Section 61 powers were met late last evening (12 July).

“A request was made that the encampment leave the area, which they have since complied with.”

Eastleigh Borough Council shut the paddling pool at the leisure centre, but has since reopened it after being drained, cleaned, refilled and the water quality tested.

In a statement, Eastleigh Borough Council told Metro.co.uk: “Council officers have already visited the encampment (Tuesday 12 July) to request that the travelers leave the site and we are continuing to monitor the situation.”

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Two recent unauthorised encampments at Chalcroft Way and Fleming Park cost the council around £5,000.

A total of 22 caravans set up camp in Fleming Park, land owned by the council, on May 24.

The travellers left the park two days after their arrival.

The same week, an unauthorised traveller encampment prevented more than 1,000 people from playing football at Stoneham Lane Football Complex.

Travellers set up camp for a total of 29 hours from Monday, May 23 before leaving the Eastleigh complex on Tuesday following police intervention.

The Hampshire FA site suffered damage to the height barrier and grass pitch as a result and a total of 94 football teams could not play their matches or train during this period.



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