Floodlights at Palmer Park have been left on overnight this week to deter “significant anti-social behaviour”.

An unauthorised encampment of seven caravans arrived at Palmer Park on February 7 but Reading Borough Council (RBC) would not confirm if the encampment was the reason for the floodlights being kept on.

The floods have caused disturbance to residents’ sleep.

Sion Williams tweeted to the council: “Palmer Park stadium lights were on all night (photo at 2:30am) and are even on now (7am).

“This is not really acceptable to local residents given that they are much brighter than they used to be. (Without mentioning the waste of electricity).”

A RBC council spokesman said: “We have taken the steps of leaving on the Palmer Park Stadium floodlights over the last few nights in a bid to deter significant anti-social behaviour that has taken place in recent weeks.

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“We hope the floodlights will act as both a deterrent and allow our CCTV cameras to capture any criminal activity taking place in the area, which is ordinarily too dark to capture.

“We apologise for any disturbance to local residents and wish to emphasise this is a short-term measure under exceptional circumstances.”

Although no link between the illegal encampment and keeping the floodlights on has been confirmed, the council said legal letters asking travellers to leave the land have been issued and the legal team is seeking a court appointment at the earliest opportunity.

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When asked about reported anti-social behaviour at the site, a spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: “TVP were called at around 12.45pm yesterday (February 25) to reports of criminal damage at Palmer Park in Wokingham.

“No arrests were made. Any unauthorised encampment is primarily an issue for the landowner and local council so you would need to contact them for further information at this time.”

Concern was raised about traveller encampments last night (February 25) at a Full Council meeting with two councillors calling for action on unauthorised sites.

The government is currently considering a change to the law to make trespass with the intent of residing on the land a criminal offence.

Deputy leader councillor Tony Page said the council would “generally support” this.