Residents claim travellers are causing mayhem in their sleepy town, with one local comparing it to the dystopian film Mad Max.
Around 1,500 travellers have reportedly descended on Rutland Showground for a Christian event called the festival of Light and Life.
Over the weekend, people living in the nearby town of Oakham reported that some of the festival-goers were involved in drag racing, shoplifting and antisocial behaviour.
Today residents said they had spent a second day locked down in their own homes as they were too terrified to leave.
A nearby McDonald’s remained closed this morning with police stood at the entrance following reports youths terrorised staff and diners over the weekend.
One group of teenagers were seen jumping on car bonnets at the car park of a nearby GP garage and Aldi supermarket, which has stayed open.
Local businessman Carl Ford, 55, said most smaller firms were forced to close their doors and residents were avoiding the town due to “fears for their safety.”
He said: “The last 24 hours have been absolute carnage.
“On top of antisocial behaviour I can’t imagine how many Covid breaches there have been.
“They were all racing up the Oakham bypass. It was like a race track up there last night. I’ve seen some police but not enough, they look out of control to me.
“People are not coming into town over fears for their own safety. The police have mostly let it all happen, they are outnumbered.”
One resident told The Sun he saw cars racing on the bypass and compared the chaotic scenes to ‘something out of Mad Max.
He added: “I saw a top spec Range Rover turning out of the site and hit almost 80mph in seconds.
“Behind was a Mustang doing the same. It was mayhem and it was only at about midnight that the trailers stopped arriving.
“This morning they were arriving again.”
Another local, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s been a nightmare. Our town has been over-run and they are leaving a lot of mess in the process.
“I can’t fathom how this event has been allowed to go ahead. It just beggars belief the authorities haven’t close this down already.
“I’m sure most of them are behaving but a minority have been causing mayhem and something needs to be done about it.
“I’m scared to leave my own home and nobody should ever be made to feel like that.”
A different resident added: “It has been incredibly noisy here the last few days.
“I know there’s been issues especially at the McDonald’s which is only a two-minute walk away.
“It has made me feel uneasy and a bit scared especially as I usually go walking with my child in a pushchair.
“We’ve not had any anti social behaviour up here which I’m very grateful for but it’s definitely making me and my family feel uneasy.”
Alica Kerns, Tory MP for Rutland and Melton, said on social media she was working with the police and local council to clamp down on any further issues.
She said: “Last night there were more unacceptable disturbances and further intimidation of our community.
“There were a number of arrests yesterday at the Rutland Showground.”
She said she was trying to find solutions to the noise levels, the racing on Oakham Bypass and to help businesses stay open.
In a statement, the Rutland Agricultural Society, which owns the showground, said it was aware the event was “causing disturbance to our neighbours”.
They said: “We wholeheartedly apologise for this [disturbance].
“We agreed to the booking after assessing the organisers risk assessment and with the belief that this was an event primarily about Christian worship.
“However there is a minority of people who are disrupting the event and causing significant problems in and around the showground.
“Our priority is to help maintain public order and minimise disruption and allow the event to refocus on its Christian worship as quickly and quietly as possible.
“We have been in contact with the police who have been onsite today.”