Council staff and police descended on sites in Shooters Hill and Woolwich to kick travellers out who had set up there.

A ‘travellers ban’ was set up by Greenwich Council in December last year, giving staff the power to immediately kick out anyone setting up in parks in the borough.

Notices were set up across many of the 203 parks owned by the council and the ban means anyone who sets up there without permission could face arrest and even prison.

Travellers set up on sites on Grand Depot Road in Woolwich and by Victoria House on Shooters Hill Road earlier this month.

The 35-strong group with around 10 caravans and other vehicles arrived at the site at Woolwich town centre around 8pm on Sunday night (February 11).

Police and council staff forced the group to leave and they were gone by noon on Tuesday.

In Shooters Hill Road, travellers with around 13 caravans and other vehicles arrived on Saturday evening and were forced to leave by Monday.

There was heavy fly-tipping at the site, which is next door to Greenwich Free School, and the site has now been locked.

Greenwich Council has said it wants to extend the current injunction on illegally setting up on land in the borough, which currently runs out in March.

Councillor Jackie Smith said: “The Royal Borough takes a zero tolerance approach to all illegal encampments which is why our officers pushed strongly for the police powers to be used.

“Fly-tipping can be a major blight on our neighbourhoods and so I am really proud that our enforcement officers managed to gain access to the site in Grand Depot Road to identify suspected involvement in illegal waste dumping.

“This enabled police action to be taken and the travellers were given two hours to comply before officers from Greenwich police, the Council along with the bailiffs moved in.

“This excellent partnership work to move on travellers quickly shows what can be achieved if the Council, police and bailiffs all work together. We hope it sends out a strong message to travellers that illegal encampments will not be tolerated in the Royal Borough."