The travelling communities currently camped on a Skegness car park are visiting for a religious event and will be leaving on Sunday afternoon, police have announced.
Chief Inspector Daryl Pearce has also refuted suggestions the travellers have been involved in any criminal or antisocial behaviour as claimed by some disgruntled residents and businesses.
“Early indications are that members of the travelling community have supported the town’s night time economy, alongside holidaymakers and locals, and there have been no adverse reports of increased crime or antisocial behaviour,” he said.
“The travellers have been in regular conversation with ourselves and the district council and are keen to blend in with the community and enjoy the facilities on offer in Skegness.
“Our objective is to ensure that all members of our community in Skegness are able to continue with their business and pleasure and we will police the town as we do every summer, preventing and responding to crime and antisocial behaviour”.
The announcement differs vastly from the widespread accusations of shoplifting and threatening behaviour reported by local business owners and commentators on social networking sites.
A nearby cafe owner claims they had to shut their doors after staff were intimidated by several travellers and has accused the district council of failing to act decisively.
“At the moment I feel like I’m in a sinking ship as this is my livelihood and my staff’s who I owe it to them to protect them,” they said.
Others felt it unfair that the travellers were able to close a prominent foreshore car park without any cost, while businesses reliant on the passing trade suffered.
ELDC was forced to shut the car park after it was taken over by dozens of caravans and later announced it had arranged 24 hour security cover to prevent the unauthorised use of its other car parks.