THE “cat and mouse” game between travellers and the local authorities continued yesterday as public spaces were breached again.
Wild Park in Brighton saw two caravans return yesterday after a mass encampment of almost 100 vehicles was broken up by police on Wednesday night.
An encampment of about 40 traveller vehicles remains in Preston Park in Brighton – for the second time in as many weeks.
Meanwhile, another encampment sits in Stanmer Park.
Conservatives in Brighton and Hove condemned the “cat and mouse games” over travellers, branding Brighton and Hove City Council’s action as “ridiculous”.
Conservative council candidate for Preston Park ward, Lee Wares, said: “Without exception residents feel that enough liberties have been taken and the council should stop wasting money on tolerating the situation.
“They feel the police should equally start to consider the rights of residents.“It is also ridiculous that the council and police are now conducting a community impact assessment and welfare checks on the same group which was assessed when it first arrived at Preston Park several weeks ago, assessed again when they went to Wild Park and now for the third time as they return to Preston Park.
“What do the officers think will have changed?”Conservative group leader, Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, renewed his calls to designate public parks as “sensitive sites”.
He said: “By doing so the police can evict immediately. Nobody will suffer the disruption and money will not be wasted.”
The council said it had visited van dwellers on the plateau in Wild Park and travellers in Preston Park and Stanmer Park.
It said yesterday that it will apply to the courts for a possession order for this land, should the occupants fail to leave voluntarily.
Conservative councillor Dawn Barnett, who represents Hangleton and Knoll ward, said Hove was free of travellers yesterday.
She said residents were “fed up” of illegal encampments.