POLICE were in a stand-off with travellers last night after a convoy of caravans set up camp on a public car park.
The travellers arrived on the pay and display site alongside Filey Golf Course in the early afternoon.
They tethered horses on the grass and it took until 8.45pm for police to persuade the 15 vehicles to move on.
A Filey resident whose home overlooks the site off West Avenue, said: “I couldn’t believe it when all the caravans started to roll up on the car park.
“It was an achievement by the police to move them on. That pay and display will be needed at the weekend and can normally be full.”
The woman, who works for an organisation in Scarborough, but did not want to be identified, added: “It was quite a feat to resolve the situation.”
The incident came after businesses in Crossgates and Seamer say were plagued by youngsters from the travelling community during the annual horse fair.
There were also reports that a popular chip shop at Crossgates had to close because of the problems and anti-social behaviour.
And Simon Brader, the landlord of the Mayfield Hotel in Seamer, said he had lost about £7,000 in takings over the past two weeks because people had been put off from visiting his pub.
He said: “We have had the police here virtually every day because of the problems kids are causing.”
Steph Somers, the owner of Seamer Stores, said she had suffered threatening behaviour, theft and abusive language.
She said: “You can tolerate so much. But it is the sheer volume of the kids – that has been the problem this year.
“I almost had to shut the shop a couple of times because it was so critical. Since the incidents, the police presence has been very visible and very reassuring.
“I’ve lived round here all my life but I’ve never witnessed anything like this. When that site opened it was chaos.”
When the Evening News visited Seamer Fisheries staff said a fight had
broken out within a group of travellers inside the shop.
A spokesman said the youngsters were more rowdy and difficult to deal with but they had managed to continue trading during the two week period.
A North Yorkshire police spokesman confirmed that they had received two reports of shop theft at the Seamer Stores, with one culprit as young as seven, but had made no arrests.
Cllr Roxanne Murphy, who represents people living in the Seamer area, said shops had suffered thefts and a nearby play area had been damaged.
She added: “None of the local kids are going there because of the threatening behaviour. I think the residents of Seamer and the surrounding area want to see it abolished completely.”