Organisers of Seaham gypsy church convention ‘fully engaged’ with police

Gypsy caravans parked in fields aong the coast road between Seaham and Ryhope, with Seaham Hall Hotel in the background, on Monday.

Gypsy caravans parked in fields aong the coast road between Seaham and Ryhope, with Seaham Hall Hotel in the background, on Monday.

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Organisers of the gypsy church convention in Seaham have “fully engaged” with the police, according to a neighbourhood inspector.

Five hundred caravans arrived at Seaham Hall Farm, a space usually used for car boot sales, on Sunday afternoon, and they are expected to stay until either Thursday or Friday.

Concerns have been raised, particularly on social media, by the Seaham community at the impact the convention could have.

Darren Walton, neighbourhood inspector for Seaham and Easington Police, said: “There have been some concerns expressed by the community of Seaham surrounding the large number of caravans parked in the field just beyond Hall Bends car park. “The caravans are owned by a Christian group who travel around the country attending various religious festivals.

“They have travelled from the Sunderland area after attending an event and were due to attend another event in Hartlepool which has been cancelled.

“They intend to leave on Friday afternoon. The group representative is keen not to raise concern within the community and has fully engaged with the police and county council.

“Two licensed premises closed early on Sunday night due to the volume of people inside. This was only due to the influx of people from the site. No incidents were reported.

“They are keen to have police visits to the site and the relevant attention will be given by local officers.”