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More Sites, Not Powers: FFT highlight potential impact of anti-Traveller police powers to Joint Committee on Human Rights

On 10 February 2021, Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT) made its submission to the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ call for evidence on the Police Powers and Protections Bill, which includes the criminalisation of trespass.

The submission, which can be seen in full here, outlines the potential impact of the criminalisation of trespass and increased police powers on Gypsy and Traveller communities.

The Government’s current plans could:

  • Make trespass a crime – resulting in prison, a fine or your vehicle being taken from you.
  • Make it a crime for you to stop alongside or on the road – they will be able to move you along.
  • Make it so police can act when there’s two vehicles, instead of six. A car, a trailer and a van would count as three vehicles.
  • Make it so police can force you to go to a transit site in another county.
  • Make it so you’re banned from an area for one year instead of three months.

The Joint Committee will review evidence on a number of Bills, including addressing the human rights implications of the Police Powers and Protections Bill.

Speaking about the submission, Abbie Kirkby, Advice and Policy Manager at Friends, Families and Travellers:

“It is deeply unjust that while the Government is dramatically failing to ensure there are enough sites and stopping places for Gypsy and Traveller families to live on, the Home Secretary is working to create laws to imprison and fine families living on roadside camps for the “crime” of having nowhere else to go. We hope the Committee will recognise and act upon the incompatibility with human rights protections. Everyone deserves somewhere to live.”

 

 

Notes for Editor               

About Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT)

Friends, Families and Travellers is a leading national charity that works on behalf of all Gypsies, Roma and Travellers regardless of ethnicity, culture or background.

Media Contact

Sami McLaren, Communications Officer

Tel: 07436 228910 Email: sami@gypsy-traveller.org

Relevant Resources

‘FFT response to Home Office statement on trespass’. Friends, Families and Travellers. January 2021. View here.

‘Friends, Families and Travellers submission to the Joint Committee on Human Rights – legislative scrutiny of the Police Powers and Protections Bill: the impact on Gypsies and Travellers’. Friends, Families and Travellers. February 2021. View here.

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