A HAMPSHIRE MP has called on the government to step up efforts to make trespassing a criminal offence after the arrival of travellers on a recreation ground.

And the clean up bill after they left the site is estimated to cost the tax payer thousands of pounds.

As reported, a group from the travelling community was seen at Nursling Recreation Ground over the weekend of June 27 and 28 and caravans were seen on the site throughout the week.

Frustrated residents have voiced their concerns about the "dreadful vandalism and allegations of defecation in public places" to Romsey and Southampton North MP Caroline Nokes.

The Conservative politician said she had been in close contact with the chair of the parish council, Cllr Phil Bundy about the actions they are currently taking.

Ms Nokes said these issues cause a "great deal of distress" and will impact on council tax payers financially.

Raising the issue in the House of Commons, she said: "Since the weekend [of June 27 and 28], the parish of Nursling and Rownhams has seen acts of vandalism and revoltingly as one of my constituents emailed me this morning, defecation in public places.

"This is going to cost the parish council thousands and thousands of pounds in the clean up, which is absolutely essential, not only to replace security fencing around the recreation ground but also to make sure that it is safe for children families to use in the future."

Ms Nokes asked leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg to consider giving time for a debate on whether trespass should be a criminal rather than a civil offence.

Mr Rees-Mogg said: "That type of trespass is absolutely revolting and the commitment to make trespass a criminal offence was in the 2019 manifesto and the government intends to deliver on that particular commitment.

"I understand the home office has recently concluded a consultation on this matter and the government will publish a response in due course and this will give the House members the opportunity to discuss this issue in greater depth but the government is on the same side as my right honourable friend."