FFT host Labour Conference Fringe Event: ‘What does the Policing Bill mean for Gypsy and Traveller communities?’

From 5:30pm – 7:00pm on Saturday 25th September, national charity Friends, Families and Travellers will hold a panel discussion focussing on Part 4 of the Policing Bill which includes plans to imprison, fine and remove the homes of people living on roadside camps.

The event, which will be chaired by Labour MP Mary Foy, will provide a platform for speakers from Romany and Traveller communities including:

  • Jake Bowers, Romany activist, journalist and Drive2Survive founder member
  • Mattey Mitchell, Romany campaigner at Friends, Families and Travellers, core Drive2Survive member
  • Chelsea McDonagh, Irish Traveller activist, writer, and senior researcher
  • Allison Hulmes, Welsh Romani Gypsy, National Director for Wales at the British Association of Social Workers and co-founding member of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Social Work Association

The Policing Bill poses the biggest assault on nomadic existence for decades and embodies the hostile environment against Gypsies and Travellers. The Bill, currently in parliament, seeks to criminalise trespass and introduce tougher police powers of eviction which will have a devastating impact on Gypsy and Traveller communities and likely to capture others experiencing homelessness.

The speakers will share what the Policing Bill means for their communities and outline a human rights based and humane approach to the accommodation needs of Gypsy and Traveller people.

The event will be held in the Conference Room at Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XG. Attendees will be provided with snacks and drinks. We welcome you to arrive from 5pm. The capacity for the venue is 100 people and we will be operating on a first come, first served basis.

Speaking about the event, Sarah Mann, Director of Friends, Families and Travellers said:

“The Policing Bill presents the biggest threat to Gypsy and Traveller communities that we have seen for decades. We have seen huge opposition to these proposals, not only from the police but from across society in recognition of the implications for human rights and civil liberties. We invite you to come along to our event to hear from Gypsy and Traveller people about how we can work together to meaningfully oppose the plans set out in the Policing Bill.”

**Information on COVID-19 entry requirements**

The event is part of The World Transformed and we will be following their policies and approach to COVID-19.

Please note that all attendees aged 11 and over will be required to provide proof of a negative lateral flow test (within 24 hours) or negative PCR test (within 48 hours) or provide proof of double vaccination  in order to gain entry to the event.

To prove your negative test each day, you can:

  • Upload your negative test result to the NHS website via this link (https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result), after which you will receive confirmation of your result either via text or email
  • OR you can bring a photo of the negative test in order for you to gain entry to the festival. If you are presenting a photo, please make sure the barcode and long number are visible as we will note this number down.

If you are an attendee of The World Transformed (TWT), you can verify your COVID-19 status through TWT’s checkpoints and use your armband for that day for entry.

If you are providing proof of double vaccination, we request that where possible, attendees use the NHS Covid Pass to prove this. If you are unable to access the NHS Covid Pass app, please present one of the following:

  • Double vaccination card
    COVID vaccination certification
    NHS Scotland PDF double vaccination
    EU Digital COVID certificate (previously known as COVID green pass scheme)

We ask that all attendees of our event wear masks when travelling around the corridors, lifts, toilets and staircases in the Community Base building, unless exempt. You can find more information on The World Transformed’s COVID-19 policy here.


Notes for Editor               

About Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT)

Friends, Families and Travellers is a leading national charity that works to end racism and discrimination against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people and to protect the right to pursue a nomadic way of life.

Media Contact

Sami McLaren, Senior Communications and Campaigns Officer

Tel: 07436 228910 Email: [email protected]

Relevant Resources

Briefing for House of Lords second reading: Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill: Part 4’. Friends, Families and Travellers. Sept 2021. View here.

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