Travellers have been told to leave land next to Basildon's Sporting Village.

The group, which totals around 18 caravans, has been issued with a Section 61 notice, meaning the travellers at the leisure on Cranes Farm Road have to go.

Essex Police say because of reports of anti-social behaviour today, officers were able to step in.

This comes only hours after the leader of Basildon Council, Gavin Callaghan, slammed the force for not moving the group on.

He said: "I’m at a loss as to why Essex Police are yet to serve a section 61 eviction notice.

"As a council; we are losing income at the sporting village already. This is only reducing that income further.

"I’d be happy to send the Police Commissioner an invoice for our loss of income and clean up bill?

"Basildon Council should have the powers to serve these notices ourselves rather than be reliant on other agencies to do it for us. Let’s get on with it."


Inspector Steve Parry, from the Basildon Community Policing Team, said: “We know that where unauthorised traveller encampments occur there can, on occasion, be disruption to the local community and we work with the members of the encampment and our partners to resolve these situations.

“Unauthorised encampments are a civil act of trespass and the owner of the land, whether they be a private landowner or a local authority, has powers to move them on.

“When encampments occur officers will attend to liaise with its members and to ensure their welfare.

“We only have certain powers to get an unauthorised encampment to move on and can only exercise these powers when specific criteria have been met.

“In this case, when we initially reviewed the encampment and continued to monitor the situation the criteria to issue a Section 61 notice had not been met.

“However, following reports of anti-social behaviour relating to the encampment made to us today we have reviewed the situation and issued the encampment with a Section 61 notice"