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RESIDENTS are calling for better protection for Poole’s open spaces to prevent easy access for travellers this summer.

Members of Branksome West Residents Association believe height barriers would act as a deterrent at the recreation ground, similar to those put in place at Corfe Mullen, which had no traveller camps.

At Branksome Rec at one time last summer there were approximately 19 caravans.

“Last year the travellers first broke in via the car park, in through the main gate which was open and then cut through the low level fencing separating the car park area from the green, with bolt cutters,” said association chairman Jacqui Wilson.

She said supplementing the low level fencing with small heavy duty cement pillars would prevent vehicles moving any further forward.

“We feel this would both secure the green and minimise the cost of protecting it.”

Planting shrubs would also act as a deterrent, she said. She said they were not making a special case for the rec and these measures would apply to the majority of the town’s open spaces.

She also called for co-operation and communication between the police and councils on eviction day so that a “lock down” of all green spaces could take place.

Joseph Jones, pictured above, of the Gypsy Council said there were a number of measures that could be taken, from negotiated stopping with everyone on site signing a contract to prosecuting anyone who dumped or left rubbish – using covert cameras.

“None of us want any kind of anti social behaviour,” he said. He said using covert cameras worked well in other areas where prolific fly tippers had stopped for fear of prosecution.

“If we can use police powers to remove their motors or even the threat of doing so, then we feel this would be a deterrent,” he said.

He said there needed to be a partnership with the community and called for all to work together to find an acceptable solution.

Borough of Poole councillors will meet on Thursday to discuss measures including better protection for vulnerable sites this summer.