TRAVELLERS’ caravans have pitched up at Hove Lawns by the Peace Statue.

Four arrived on Friday and were ordered by Sussex Police to leave the premises yesterday afternoon.

This is the seventh time travellers have set up camp in the area.

Thomas Preis, manager of The Meeting Place Cafe in King’s Road, Brighton, said he saw the group arriving last Friday.

He said: “They come here every summer, especially at the end of August.

“When they come they give us trouble. I believe they have taken some sweets from us but now we know how to deal with them.

“We hide our crisps and sweets, which are usually on the counter. When they are gone, we bring them back out.

“The children come in groups, they are aged between six to 15. They run around and make a lot of noise.

“Previously we have spoken to police about it and they told us to call them if there is any trouble.”

The Argus last reported there were three caravans accompanied by cars on lawns to the west of the King Alfred leisure centre at the beginning of this month.

Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove and Portslade, said: “Brighton and Hove City Council are respectful of travellers and we expect them to engage with those of us who are permanent residents.

“They should be working with our local authorities.

“They should be respectful of local residents and traders who have been living in fear.

“They shouldn’t be exploiting the fact that we have open public spaces, which should remain so.

“I think the council has been struggling with the balancing act of finding a middle ground for everyone.

“Unfortunately the travelling community has not been living up to their responsibilities that we expect from any other person.

“If they live by the same rules the council and I will fight their corner.

“But if they exploit our welcoming nature then I will do everything I can to protect the welfare of our permanent residents.”

A council spokesman said: “The group of travellers on Hove Lawns by the Peace Statue left the land before the Section 62a was enacted by the police.

“It is believed they have left the city.”