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Government plans on illegal trespass could jeopardise trust between groups

Sussex, England, 26.10.2010 12:19, (ROMEA)

Conservative government plans to make intentional trespass illegal could jeopardise trust between local police and the traveller community, according to an Eastbourne police officer.

It was reported by local newspaper, the Eastbourne Herald, that plans to have ring-fenced housing at the cost of 30 million pounds for gypsies and travellers, had been slashed, with the decision to provide housing now resting solely with the local council.

Superintendent Tony Blaker, Sussex’s Equality Champion for gypsies and travellers said: “Nationally, the police would have concerns about such a piece of legislation in terms of the impact it would have on the relationship between police and the gypsy and traveller community and the implications of moving people when budgets are being reduced.

It is now unclear whether the council strategy for travellers which recommends that caravan pitches be doubled to 42, will now go ahead."

“It’s not the right thing to do, it’s going to be difficult and costly to implement as a concept, obviously the details have not been worked out and it may be it comes out differently.”

Chairman of the East Sussex Traveller Forum told the Eastbourne Herald that: “You should have a right to roam if that’s the culture you live in and if you have not got that right, you should be able to live your life with the appropriate needs."

“We want to live in a caravan on a plot and feel that kind of feeling our grandfathers had, to still come and go and travel around.”

A spokesperson for the Eastbourne Council said: “The borough council has not allocated a specific gypsy or traveller site within Eastbourne.”

Nathalia Odwin, Eastbourne Herald
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