Police powers against travellers

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discovolante
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Re: Police powers against travellers

Post by discovolante » Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:10 pm

Back to the consultation itself, I've been in touch with the organisation in the OP and they have said they are going to add an explanatory note (if they haven't done so already) as follows:
Some of the questions assume support for the criminalisation in these cases for the template, we have left the multiple choice section blank and included our views on the criminalisation of unauthorised encampments and increase in police powers in the comments section.

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lpm
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Re: Police powers against travellers

Post by lpm » Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:00 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:04 am
Plus the fact is the laws are already more than sufficient to deal with any illegal activity. This is targeting of a marginalised population to make it even harder for them to continue their way of life.
Right, but much of the population wants it to be harder for them to continue their way of life, because their way of life is perceived to be one of theft.

Voters don't want permanent sites in their neighbourhood - and lobby their local councils hard to prevent planning permission. Councils often require a big house building projects to allocate land to travellers - and the house building companies fight hard against it because it reduces the desirability of the new homes.

This looks like totally the wrong fight to me. I've no idea what the Conservative government has done in recent years, but will bet you 1 (one) Quality Street they've trashed every single public program designed to improve education, health and imprisonment rates of travellers. Some mad laws pandering to the prejudice matter far less than the mad austerity cuts that directly impact the communities' day-to-day lives.
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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Police powers against travellers

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:47 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:04 am
Plus the fact is the laws are already more than sufficient to deal with any illegal activity. This is targeting of a marginalised population to make it even harder for them to continue their way of life.
Yes for sure. When I read the beginning of the thread I thought the proposed laws were about criminalising trespass, which I didn't consider a massively awful issue (e.g. not all conservation orgs have the budget to bring civil cases against people trashing their reserves, and nor do they want the attendant publicity).

But the other bits of the law are crazy. Criminalising stopping beside public roads. Being able to "move on" any group of two vehicles, which would include a car with a trailer. Shifting people from one county to another.

Not only would these laws facilitate harassment of travellers, which is bad enough of itself, but would also be handing the police incredibly broad powers to harass just about anybody (and as we all know, police harassment tends to be disproportionately directed towards minority groups).
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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Police powers against travellers

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:54 pm

Also - and this is certainly a derail that I'll split if it gets replies - the traveller communities have an enormous public image problem.

Unlike other minority groups it's still broadly acceptable to immediately respond with complaints about trespassing, conning the elderly, stealing stuff, fighting and so on. And, with the exception of those old-timey caravans you can go glamping in, and possibly fiddle music - I can't really think of any aspects of that culture that are appreciated by the mainstream.

Being mobile obviously makes integration difficult, causing communities to be very insular, and preventing non-travellers from having much meaningful contact with that community. Seeing as tolerance for difference is apparently in very short supply these days, I think this is a big setback for the communities. I don't know what the solution is at all, though.
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Re: Police powers against travellers

Post by plodder » Wed Dec 18, 2019 3:05 pm

Er, this is totally in response to the public order predictions in Yellowhammer and nothing to do with travellers.

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mediocrity511
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Re: Police powers against travellers

Post by mediocrity511 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:13 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:47 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:04 am
Plus the fact is the laws are already more than sufficient to deal with any illegal activity. This is targeting of a marginalised population to make it even harder for them to continue their way of life.
Yes for sure. When I read the beginning of the thread I thought the proposed laws were about criminalising trespass, which I didn't consider a massively awful issue (e.g. not all conservation orgs have the budget to bring civil cases against people trashing their reserves, and nor do they want the attendant publicity).

But the other bits of the law are crazy. Criminalising stopping beside public roads. Being able to "move on" any group of two vehicles, which would include a car with a trailer. Shifting people from one county to another.

Not only would these laws facilitate harassment of travellers, which is bad enough of itself, but would also be handing the police incredibly broad powers to harass just about anybody (and as we all know, police harassment tends to be disproportionately directed towards minority groups).
I'm surprised you weren't worried about criminalizing trespass given that aside from Travellers, the other group likely to be majorly affected are environmental protestors and folk doing stuff like sabotaging the badger cull. Though I guess purely considering store reserves in isolation I can understand.

Much like when the Public Order act was brought in and made life difficult for various different elements of society that that the Tories considered undesirable.

But yes, some of the powers are scary. Can you imagine outcomes on health and education if Travellers were constantly shifted from pillar to post.

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quiescent
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Re: Police powers against travellers

Post by quiescent » Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:42 pm

Does anyone know whether responses from people residing in Scotland would be worthwhile for this? The proposed changes appear to be specific to England & Wales.

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discovolante
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Re: Police powers against travellers

Post by discovolante » Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:58 pm

quiescent wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:42 pm
Does anyone know whether responses from people residing in Scotland would be worthwhile for this? The proposed changes appear to be specific to England & Wales.
I live in Scotland. It asks for your address but I completed it anyway; I can't see how they could argue that your opinion on this kind of issue is invalid just because you don't live in E&W if you aren't just talking about your personal experience.

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discovolante
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Re: Police powers against travellers

Post by discovolante » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:08 pm

lpm wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:00 pm
Voters don't want permanent sites in their neighbourhood - and lobby their local councils hard to prevent planning permission. Councils often require a big house building projects to allocate land to travellers - and the house building companies fight hard against it because it reduces the desirability of the new homes.

This looks like totally the wrong fight to me. I've no idea what the Conservative government has done in recent years, but will bet you 1 (one) Quality Street they've trashed every single public program designed to improve education, health and imprisonment rates of travellers. Some mad laws pandering to the prejudice matter far less than the mad austerity cuts that directly impact the communities' day-to-day lives.
It's not as if someone just made up this consultation to pick a fight - it was created by the government so to not respond to it just because it doesn't solve every single problem is a bit daft.

Here is FFT's page on other things they do: https://www.gypsy-traveller.org/what-we-do/policy-2/
We carry out policy, research and campaigning work to increase the number of sites and stopping places for Gypsies and Travellers to live.

...

Through our casework and outreach work, we have identified recurrent issues which arise when members of the Gypsy and Traveller communities seek to receive health care. Through positive health engagement and by engaging in wider Health Inclusion fora, we seek to redress structural issues which can sometimes make it difficult for Gypsies and Travellers to achieve the same health outcomes as members of the dominant community.

...

As part of the General Election 2017, we launched an electoral registration campaign, helping members of the Gypsy and Traveller communities to register to vote and promoting the importance of voting to residents on sites and encampments in Sussex and Surrey particularly. We encouraged subscribers to our newsletter to ask their local politicians questions on the topics of discrimination, site provision and protection of the nomadic way of life. Many of the people who we helped register to vote were doing so for the very first time.

...

We continue to participate in the Department for Education Gypsy and Traveller Stakeholder meetings and feed into policy development where possible. We hope to use our experiences derived from casework, homework club and outreach work to influence our policy recommendations and advice.

...

We participate in Sussex Police Gypsy and Traveller Advisory Group meetings, and have provided Gypsy and Traveller Cultural Awareness training on numerous occasions to Police and Prison staff.

In January 2014 we held a conference, in conjunction with the Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG) in London, which looked at Improving Outcomes for Offenders from Gypsy and Traveller Communities. The report from the conference is available here.

A good practice guide to working with Gypsies, Roma and Travellers in prison has been produced by HMP Ford staff in partnership with inmates from Gypsy and Traveller communities.

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Police powers against travellers

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:30 am

mediocrity511 wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:13 pm
I'm surprised you weren't worried about criminalizing trespass given that aside from Travellers, the other group likely to be majorly affected are environmental protestors and folk doing stuff like sabotaging the badger cull.
It would be annoying to be prosecuted, but I tend to just assume that some protest activity will involve criminal activity, and that's fine.
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Re: Police powers against travellers

Post by Beaker » Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:24 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:30 am
mediocrity511 wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:13 pm
I'm surprised you weren't worried about criminalizing trespass given that aside from Travellers, the other group likely to be majorly affected are environmental protestors and folk doing stuff like sabotaging the badger cull.
It would be annoying to be prosecuted, but I tend to just assume that some protest activity will involve criminal activity, and that's fine.
And anyone going out in the countryside would be met with even more “get orf my laaand” and arrests. My grandma was on the Mass Trespass with Benny Rothman in the thirties. Not sure we want to go back there.

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Re: Police powers against travellers

Post by cvb » Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:32 pm


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quiescent
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Re: Police powers against travellers

Post by quiescent » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:52 pm

I've finally got around to writing up some responses to this (in time, I hope). Would anyone with more knowledge of the issues than me be willing to take a look at my answers before I submit them? I have very little knowledge or experience here and, what with the survey being so obviously intended to produce a specific result, I'm worried about making things worse.

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Fishnut
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Re: Police powers against travellers

Post by Fishnut » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:13 pm

quiescent wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:52 pm
I've finally got around to writing up some responses to this (in time, I hope). Would anyone with more knowledge of the issues than me be willing to take a look at my answers before I submit them? I have very little knowledge or experience here and, what with the survey being so obviously intended to produce a specific result, I'm worried about making things worse.
I think the best option, unless anyone can provide an alternative, is to use the answers suggested by Friends, Families and Travellers as linked to in the first post and summarised by me below. Just having people who are against the criminalisation of travellers fill out the form should help more than harm. I think you can miss questions so if you're really unsure then don't answer. And thanks for taking the time to do the survey :D

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