Travellers have pitched up at Southampton Outdoor Sports Centre after police used special powers to clear caravans from another site.

The city council is investigating the unauthorised encampment at the sports centre and deciding its next move.

A spokesperson said it had been made aware of an "incursion".

They added: "Southampton City Council will be working with partners to complete statutory welfare checks prior to a decision being made as to how to proceed.

"Any reports of criminality or anti-social behaviour should be reported to the police.

"Southampton City Council will work with partners, including the police and the occupants of the encampment, to resolve this situation and reduce any impact on the community.

"Please report any anti-social behaviour and/or criminality to the police on 101 or their their web-based reporting facility."

Travellers pitched up at Freemantle Common earlier this week, sparking reports that a lock had been damaged to gain entry.

Police used Section 61 powers to direct individuals to leave the land. 

Under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, officers also have the authority to order the removal of any vehicles or property. 

Failure to comply is a criminal offence. 

Southampton Chief Inspector Chris Douglas has said: “We will always ensure that we balance the needs and rights of all our communities with actions that are proportionate, lawful and necessary. 

“We work closely with landowners and our partners to ensure that a robust approach is taken against unauthorised encampments within legal parameters. 

“Our partnership work also seeks to identify repeat locations where there has been criminality or disorder in order to target harden these sites.” 

The Section 61 powers can be considered if communities are deprived of local amenities or if there has been a significant impact on the environment.

They can also be used if there is disruption to the local economy or if there is a danger to life where there is a need to take preventative action.