London city authorities said on Tuesday they were resuming legal action to try to shift anti-capitalism protesters who have set up camp at St Paul's Cathedral.

Around 200 tents have been pitched close to St Paul's after protesters were last month denied access to the nearby London Stock Exchange. The protests were inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement whose New York camp was dismantled by police in the early hours of Tuesday.

We paused legal action for two weeks for talks with those in the camp on how to shrink the extent of the tents and to set a departure date - but got nowhere, said Stuart Fraser, policy chairman of the City of London Corporation.

So, sadly, now they have rejected a reasonable offer to let them stay until the New Year, it's got to be the courts, he added.

The legal process was scheduled to begin on Tuesday with a letter asking for protesters to move tents and equipment which could be followed by a court order if protesters fail to comply.

We are getting reports about vulnerable people, cases of late-night drinking and other worrying trends, so it's time to act. It will clearly take time but we are determined to see this through, said Fraser.

A spokesman for St Paul's said the chapter, or cathedral's authorities, would meet on Wednesday morning to consider their response.

The cathedral suspended its own legal action on November 1 after the resignation of its dean Graeme Knowles.

The presence of protesters at the landmark 17th century church in the heart of London's financial district has posed a dilemma for the Church of England leadership.

Early on Tuesday, police wearing helmets and carrying shields evicted protesters from a park in New York's financial district.

(Reporting by Keith Weir)