The Forest Inn, near Farnham, Hampshire, had recently undergone a refurbishment and was due to reopen before the coronavirus pandemic hit, but police confirmed the pub was broken into on Thursday 19 March.
However, while the officers were dispatched to attend the incident the following day when members of the public told them about the break-in, they were subsequently diverted to other ongoing high priority incidents.
Further reports of damage on Saturday (21 March) prompted further police action after police had discussed the original incident with the pub licensee and local council about bringing in a security team.
A police spokesperson said: “There was ongoing liaison with the owner who was arranging for a private security team to visit the venue and working with the council to arrange eviction.
“On Saturday (21 March), a drone was deployed to monitor the [travellers’] site. The travellers moved off shortly after.”
The on-site manager told Surrey Live that although he had high praise for officers that finally got the travellers off the site, he felt let down as he claims the police did nothing for two days.
Police say damage was caused to the building and furniture and alcohol was stolen. It is also believed CCTV had not yet been installed in the pub at the time of the break-in.
A Greene King spokesperson said: “This was a shocking incident involving one of our leased and tenanted pubs that was due to reopen after a refurbishment.
“Fortunately, no one was badly hurt and we’ve been in contact with our partner to offer our support at this deeply upsetting time.”