Kingston Council hopes to hire two Wandsworth council officers with stab proof vests to deal with traveller encroachments in the borough.

The proposal comes after the council was forced to spend £10,590 in the aftermath of travellers settling in on Manor Park last year.

The year before the council paid £48,544 to protect its open spaces and remove the same group of travellers who had moved in on the Fairfield and later the Fishponds Park.

If the proposals are approved at full council next week, Wandsworth Events Police Service (WEPS) will carry out welfare checks, deliver legal notices and secure sites where there have been unauthorised traveller encampments within up to 24 hours of notice.

They will wear high visibility jackets, stab proof vests, have ballistic protections against firearm attacks and be paid £36 an hour for their service.

The proposal states: "The WEPS has proved a great success within Wandsworth and they recently extended their policing and event support service to other boroughs.

"It is, however, a finite resource and officers are keen to secure the service for the council before any neighbouring boroughs do so."

The WEPS relies on council officers being sworn in as constables at a magistrates’ court giving them powers similar to that of the police under the Greater London Parks and Open Spaces Order 1967.

Should Kingston Council hire outside officers? Email or call the newsdesk on 020 8722 6321