Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Wednesday, August 4, 1999 Published at 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK


UK

Violence casts shadow over eclipse

St Agnes Head: Now home to 120 travellers

Extra police have been drafted in following violence at a new age travellers' camp in Cornwall, ahead of the eclipse.

Special report
Special report
11 August
Wallpaper
Media
The increased police presence follows a violent incident at St Agnes Head near Perranporth, where about 70 vehicles and 120 travellers have converged for the eclipse.

Reports say that travellers clashed with police as they tore out a gate to allow another traveller's vehicle onto the site.

The camp, which has been growing steadily for several weeks ahead of the 11 August event, has alarmed local residents, tourist officers and farmers.

But the travellers insist that they intended their stay in the area to be peaceful and cause no nuisance.


The BBC's Jane O'Brien: "Moving the convoy could cause more problems"
The National Farmers' Union has set up a round-the-clock hotline to advise members on preventing travellers entering their land.

Celia Heal of the St Agnes Tourist Information Office said the convoy had affected tourism, with holidaymakers being advised not to go to the area of outstanding natural beauty.

Eviction order

St Agnes Head usually attracts holidaymakers who want a quiet, peaceful holiday, she said.

But the area has been surrounded by "more police than we've seen in our lives", said Ms Heal.


[ image: The travellers say they want to watch the eclipse and then move on]
The travellers say they want to watch the eclipse and then move on
Ms Heal said the local authority,Carrick District Council, should have acted sooner, as the first vehicles on the convoy arrived "several months ago".

The council has won a county court order against the travellers but said it may not be practicable to move the convoy until after the eclipse.

The convoy could cause worse problems elsewhere, it said, and moving them would put a strain on the emergency services.

Peaceful intentions

Chief Superintendent Bob Sturland of Devon and Cornwall police said officers were prepared to move in extra resources.

All roads leading to the headland had a police presence and officers were on foot patrol around the area to reassure local residents, he said.

However a spokeswoman for the travellers, Karen Green, said they wanted to be able to stay at the site to watch the eclipse before going on to other festivals in the area.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England

Relevant Stories

01 Aug 99 | UK
Eclipse forecast goes online

01 Aug 99 | UK
Police calm eclipse anarchy fears

29 Jul 99 | Sci/Tech
Government warns of eclipse danger

05 Jul 99 | Sci/Tech
Bleak outlook for UK eclipse watchers

26 May 99 | UK Politics
Hysteria overshadowing eclipse - MP

23 May 99 | UK
Eclipse chaos fears dent Cornish tourism





Internet Links


This is Cornwall

Official UK Eclipse Site

Devon and Cornwall Police

St Agnes Tourist Information Centre

National Farmers' Union


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online