AN ILLEGAL traveller encampment on a Southampton park was thwarted over the weekend.

Freemantle residents alerted the police and Southampton City Council after a group of travellers began to set up camp on Freemantle Lake Park on Friday night.

As soon as the police and local council community safety team were alerted to the incursion by local residents, there was an "immediate" response, and new locks were fitted to prevent further incursions.

A spokesperson from Hampshire Police said: "Officers from the local neighbourhood and response teams attended the encampment at Freemantle Lakeside Park, Richmond Road, on Friday to engage with the community. They were due to attend a funeral elsewhere and were leaving of their own accord.

"Officers facilitated the movement of the group from the park, and engaged with local residents.

"The council then attended to secure the site."

Daily Echo:

Cllr Dave Shields, Freemantle ward Councillor and cabinet member for stronger communities said: “I’m really proud of our council team and neighbourhood police teams in responding so quickly and averting a major incident with this group of travellers.

"This was made a lot easier due to the vigilance of local residents through groups like the Friends of Freemantle Lake Park. Let’s keep up the good work."