Sutton Council has obtained a borough-wide injunction from the High Court to ban encampments across the borough for the next three months.

The order, obtained on Tuesday (August 14), prevents people from illegally occupying land the authority owns or dumping waste.

It follows a spate of incursions which were reported across parks in Sutton before there were incidents in neighbouring Epsom.

After the initial injunction expires in November, the council will go back to apply for another one which would last three years.

Beddington, Cheam, Fairlands, Poulter, and Rosehill parks were all affected in the space of a month during July.

And this week, Evans Autos, a former car dealership in North Cheam, saw a traveller camp set up for the second time in four months.

It follows on from a borough-wide injunction obtained by neighbouring Croydon Council, while Elmbridge Borough Council have followed suit with their own.

The injunction carries a power of arrest if breached and those who violate it may be held in contempt of court.

This could mean they are imprisoned, fined, or have their assets seized.

Cllr Ruth Dombey, Sutton Council’s leader, said: “This interim injunction order will now allow us to better protect our parks from illegal encampments and allow us to move on more quickly anybody that tries to bring vehicles and caravans into our parks.

“We will now seek to secure a longer term injunction to allow us to make sure Sutton remains a pleasant place in which to live, work or visit.”

Cllr Tim Crowley, Sutton Council's opposition leader, said: "This is welcome news and I am glad that the council have listened to Conservative councillors and Paul Scully MP in seeking this injunction.

"Local residents have had to put up with being unable to use their local parks and taxpayers having to foot the bill for the clean up after they’ve gone.

"I hope the council will now pursue charges against these individuals for the fly-tipping and waste they’ve left behind.”

Sutton's MPs have also commented on the council's new powers, while calling for more proactive action to be taken to prevent similar scenarios from reoccurring.

Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Scully said: "The Government recently concluded a consultation on changes to the law on travellers and I have been campaigning with my colleagues in Parliament for stricter rules.

"We are calling for the ‘Irish option’ to be applied in the UK, meaning acts of deliberate trespass become a criminal offence - instead of civil as they are currently - and unauthorised encampments can be removed much more quickly."

Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake said: "As well as this pre-emptive measure, I would like to see prosecutions for fly-tipping. 

"This will require a concerted effort by all the authorities involved - police, environment agency, and council. 

"Our parks are not fair game for illegal dumpers."