Violent clashes have broken out between police in riot gear and travellers at Dale Farm in Essex.

The clashes marked the start of efforts by police and Basildon Council officials to evict travellers from illegal plots at the site.

More than 50 police made their move at 7:00am on 19 October breaking down a fence to the rear of the site.

The move wrong-footed the travellers and their supporters who were still taking part in a discussion with council officials at the main gate.

Supporters retaliated by hurling bricks and other missiles at the police and attempted to erect barricades to prevent the police gaining further ground.

But the police, who outnumbered the travellers, used batons and Taser stun guns to move in.

The eviction effort began after a last ditch legal attempt by the residents failed in the Court of Appeal on Monday, giving Basildon Council the right to start the site clearance.

Eviction costs could mount to £18m before the 10-year legal battle comes to an end.

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