UPDATE: Travellers who tried to set up encampment in Skegness have left the county and 'are heading south'

Police setting up a drone in the cricket clob car park. (Photo: Submitted)
Police setting up a drone in the cricket clob car park. (Photo: Submitted)

Lincolnshire Police have confirmed they are monitoring the situation and patrols will continue – but say currently the operation to remove the travellers has been successful.

The travellers headed for the coast this morning after being ousted from Boston, where businesses have been recounting a harrowing ordeal after alleged aggressive behaviour from large groups in an “illegal encampment” set up in the town centre.

Lincolnshire World reported travellers had pitched in Morrisons and B&Q car park and were looking for somewhere to stop on the seafront.

They had attempted to enter the Arcadia car park, but traders had put the barrier down and travellers were unable to break the padlock before security arrived.

Throughout the day there has been a large police presence in town, including at the cricket ground setting up a drone and are stopping travellers entering Tesco car park.

In spite of reports that some businesses fearing there might be trouble later are closing – including The Lumley, Wetherspoons and the Seaview Pub – a source tells us the town is currently quiet with no sign of travellers.

"The travellers have been removed from Morrisons and some were seen leaving Skegness via Lincoln Road with a police escort,” he said.

"Pubs have been closing and businesses that have stayed open with items for sale outside have brought them in.

"People in Skegness have long memories to when the travellers came in 2002 and 1990 and smashed the place up. They are not going to take chances.”

Superintendent Pat Coates has been leading the operation to remove the travellers, which saw additional resourses being deployed from Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire.

This followed the disruption reported at the travellers’ previous encampments in Peterborough and Boston.

"We can now confirm the travellers have left Skegness and the county are are in Norfolk, heading south,” said Supt Coates.

"We will continue to patrol the area but are currently not aware of any travellers left in town.

"The county-wide dispersal notice issued today is for 48 hours and we are hoping they will not come back.

”But we will monitor the situation.”

Supt Coates said it was important people did not think a major operation like this would take place every time a small illegal encampment set up in the county.

"This occasion was different and warranted it because of the incidents in Peterborough and the disruption in Boston,” he said.

"Extra resourses had been drafted in for Boston and so we used them to prevent the same disruption happening in Skegness, especially as it is a Bank Holiday weekend.

"We must remember, though, that not all travellers are trouble makers and they have human rights, especially as there is no suitable site for them in the county.”

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