TWO Portuguese nationals have been found living in tents near the A338 Wessex Way.

They were discovered when immigration officers and Dorset Police swooped on the encampment behind the busy road near Westbourne yesterday morning.

Dorset Police said the operation was pre-planned following concerns raised by local residents.

A spokesman from the Home Office said: “Immigration Enforcement officers arrested two Portuguese nationals, a 23-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman, who were not exercising their treaty rights by rough sleeping.

“They have been detained pending their removal from the UK.”

During the raid a 32-year-old man from Bournemouth was also arrested in connection with a burglary.

A picture of the encampment taken by officers from Bournemouth Central Neighbourhood Policing Team shows makeshift tents, a sleeping bag hung over trees sacks of clothes and blankets and a children’s toy windmill.

A Dorset Police spokesman said: “This operation was another example of a positive working arrangement with Immigration Enforcement.”

EU citizens and their family members have the right to enter and live in other Member States.

These rights are set out in the Free Movement Directive, which all Member States are bound by.

Where admission is permitted, an EU citizen may remain in the UK for up to three months from the date of entry, provided they do not become a burden on the social assistance system of the UK or abuse their rights.

Those EU citizens wishing to stay beyond three months can only do so where they are exercising a Treaty right.

Exercising a Treaty right in this context means they must be working, self-employed, self-sufficient or a student.