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Travellers interrupt King George's Park in Faversham during youth football session

By Chris Hunter

Bystanders looked on in disbelief as travellers arrived en-masse at a park - allegedly shouting at kids to 'get off their field' - during a youth football coaching session.

Footage sent to KentOnline shows a series of cars towing caravans pull on to King George's Playing Field in The Mount, Faversham, yesterday afternoon.

Around 12 caravans can be seen being moved onto the playing field and positioned around the edge of the park - but eye-witness Gary Telfer, from Gillingham, said around 10 more caravans were driven on afterwards.

Travellers invade King George's Playing Field in Faversham, as children have football coaching. Pic: Gary Telfer (13565916)
Travellers invade King George's Playing Field in Faversham, as children have football coaching. Pic: Gary Telfer (13565916)

His son Jake, aged nine, had been part of a small group of children taking part in a goal-keeping session.

And he said many of the children were frightened as the travellers drove onto the park - swearing at them and shouting at them to get off the field.

"I was watching the session and the next thing three cars came in," said Mr Telfer, 42. "They came in and blocked the entrance, then phoned their mates - then they opened the entrance up and the whole lot came in.

"There was a lot of them in a short space of time. By the time I left there was about 22.

"The police were there quite quickly but they don't do anything - they haven't got much power.

"They were literally putting their fingers up at them and swearing. As they came on to the field they were screaming at the kids to 'get off their field'."

"It's quite daunting for a group of nine-year-olds..." Gary Tefler

"Then their kids were running around interfering with the goal-keeping equipment.

"It's quite daunting for a group of nine-year-olds."

Mr Telfer said the goal keeping coach was forced to temporarily stop the session before bringing the group in closer to finish it off.

But he said the incident was part of a wider issue - with travellers only recently being moved on from Twydall.

"There's a lot of this going on," he added. "It's time for something to be done about it. Eventually there will be vigilante groups because nothing is being done.

"If they were respectful people wouldn't mind so much - but moving on to a field and shouting at kids really puts people's backs up."

A Swale Borough Council spokesman said: “We are working with the police – who have the most appropriate powers - to remove the large traveller encampment that arrived at the playing fields yesterday afternoon.

“Once they are removed we will clear the site and carry our any necessary repairs.”

Kent Police have been contacted for comment.

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