Police on standby for 'religious event'

STEVE DOWNES Extra police will be on brought in for a week-long "religious event" that could attract up to 3,000 people to a Norfolk village.But last night, the owner of the field where it was taking place said police were "worrying people unnecessarily" and giving the impression that the event included a horse fair.

STEVE DOWNES

Extra police will be on brought in for a week-long "religious event" that could attract up to 3,000 people to a Norfolk village.

But last night, the owner of the field where it was taking place said police were "worrying people unnecessarily" and giving the impression that the event included a horse fair.

The Light and Life festival, which is expected to attract thousands of people from the travelling community, is set to take place on the edge of Horsford, where a large horse fair passed off without trouble two years ago.

Sally Bransom, who owns the Nine and Ten Acres site, said: "There's no horse fair. The police have been telling local people there's going to be thousands of travellers arriving for another horse fair, but it's not true. It's a Christian event."

The exchange came as officials in Norfolk were monitoring two illegal travellers camps - including one linked to the Horsford event.

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Eighteen caravans broke on to the former South Denes caravan park in Yarmouth and seven vans and assorted vehicles have been parked on North Norfolk District Council's Runton Road car park at Cromer since yesterday morning.

The Cromer camp is unlikely to be moved on, with the families promising to leave this morning to head for the Horsford event.

Keith Johnson, car parks manager in north Norfolk, said: "Rather than move them to cause a problem at another site we are leaving them where they are."

He said the owners of each of the vans had paid for £4-a-day parking tickets.

At Yarmouth, a sandbank was apparently removed to allow access for the convoy, which included two horseboxes.

John Hemsworth, head of environmental health at the borough council, said: "Police spoke with them on the A12 coming up from Suffolk on Wednesday and they said they were coming to Yarmouth.

"They were directed to the official travellers' rest site at Gapton Hall and some initially went there before moving on to South Denes."

Mr Hemsworth said a council officer had given them a letter telling them their occupation was illegal.

He said: "They have told us they intend to stay a couple of days but we are constantly monitoring the situation and will take legal steps if it proves necessary."

It is not known if the travellers are heading to Horsford.

Chief Insp Roger Wiltshire said: "We are aware that a religious event is being held in Horsford. As with any events in the Norwich area where the attendance of a large number of people is expected, we have planned for extra police resources to be available to ensure the event passes as smoothly as possible."