Clearance Of Dale Farm Continues

Bailiffs are removing homes from the Dale Farm after police spent the night securing their position.

On Wednesday, riot-trained officers entered Dale Farm at first light and quickly advanced, establishing a position which allowed them to begin removing the main scaffold gate.

By evening all protesters who had chained themselves to the gate had been removed. Essex Police made 23 arrests.

There were sporadic, small scale clashes between supporters and police during the evening.

Officers and Basildon Council-employed bailiffs remained on site and the gate is expected to be removed early on Thursday.

The number of supporters on site has dwindled from about 50 on Wednesday to just a handful. About 50 travellers remained but many spent the night on the legal side of Dale Farm and others said they now wanted to leave as soon as the gate was opened.

However, resistance remains and some residents said they were determined to obstruct the eviction.

There are 54 unauthorised plots on the illegal half of Dale Farm, although a court order dictates that six will remain. Other plots can be only partially removed. The multimillion-pound clearance descended into violence on Wednesday, with two people Tasered and missiles thrown at police.

Police said they had decided to lead the operation after it became clear that bailiffs would be met by violence. Superintendent Trevor Roe of Essex Police said: "The tactic was to take early control of the site.

"Where we have intelligence there is likely to be violence we need to protect members of the public including bailiffs, police officers, travellers and protesters from injury."

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