Hundreds of travellers descend on seaside town

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The Independent Online

Police were today holding an emergency meeting with social services after a convoy of travellers in hundreds of vehicles descended on a seaside town.

Police were today holding an emergency meeting with social services after a convoy of travellers in hundreds of vehicles descended on a seaside town.

Up to 350 caravans began arriving on the seafront in Great Yarmouth throughout yesterday afternoon and into the evening.

Norfolk Police say the travellers, who were not expected, plan to remain in the town for the festive and millennium period.

A spokesman said: "It would seem they have travelled from all over England, Ireland and Germany."

The majority of the caravans, about 300, are now parked on the St Nicholas car park, with dozens of other vehicles along the seafront road.

The spokesman said: "None of the routes in the area are blocked but it is difficult to get through."

Police are to meet the local council and social services this morning to "look at the issues of safety and health", he added.

The acting head of the Great Yarmouth environmental health department, John Hemsworth, said local residents had found the arrival of the travellers "disturbing" but said there was no immediate prospect of forcing them to leave.

"I don't think, at the present time, it is realistic to try to move them. However that situation is fluid and obviously it will continue to be reviewed," he told BBC Radio 4's the World at One programme.

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