NEW powers to clampdown on unauthorised traveller camps could see them moved on quicker.

Brighton and Hove City Council has launched a consultation to introduce public space protection orders for 12 parks, cemeteries and areas of Brighton and Hove.

The new powers will allow council and police officers to order the removal of vans and tents from public spaces within 12 hours on threat of fixed penalty notices or court summons.

Conservative councillor Dawn Barnett said it was a “disgrace” that Hangleton Bottom has not been included while Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby has called for Saltdean Park, Beacon Hill, Happy Valley and Bexhill Road, Woodingdean, to be included.

Traveller groups have described the new powers as “inhumane” while human rights campaigners Liberty warned the orders have been used to criminalise the most vulnerable.

The proposed orders, which could last for a maximum of three years, would allow for the swift removal from parks for anyone engaging in antisocial behaviour, defined as living in vehicles and tents, driving on the grass, defecating or urinating in public, lighting fires and flytipping.

The consultation asks residents which parks they have witnessed anti-social behaviour in although the locations where the new orders will apply have already been selected based on the number of past unauthorised encampments, the sensitivity of the locations and proximity to residents.

A council spokeswoman said further locations would be considered in the future.

Mr Kirby warned that the new powers could see unauthorised traveller encampments moved to other sites not protected by the new orders.

He said: “These sites have suffered in the past as much as those on the council’s list.

“I am hoping that the council will listen to local residents and extend the list to cover the additional sites above and indeed all public spaces.”

Cllr Barnett said: "The last time there was an encampment on Hangleton Bottom, £33,000 of mowers and equipment went missing.

"It is not a suitable site for travellers right on the link road and it is a disgrace it has not been included."

Chris Whitwell, director of Brighton-based Friends, Families and Travellers, said the new orders failed to tackle the root cause of the problem.

He added: “Friends, Families and Travellers does not condone anti-social or illegal behaviour, but to criminalise a group of people merely because they have no legal place to put their home is inhumane.”

Councillor Gill Mitchell, environment committee chairwoman, said: “We understand the frustration and upset caused by nuisance and antisocial behaviour in our open spaces.

“We believe public space protection orders will be a useful addition to the work we already do to keep parks clean and safe.”

To take part in the consultation visit