What’s the easiest way to deal with the ‘problem’ of travellers, if you’re a Council within the UK?
Seek an injunction against persons unknown setting up camp on any piece of unauthorised land in the borough, of course.
Except, let’s think about that for a minute...
Is it right to stop hundreds of families, that’s men, women and children, from living life in the way that they are accustomed to?
In the way that their ancestors have for hundreds of years.
You’re born into the traveller (or gypsy) culture, and that way of life is so important to them.
Is it right to ban these people from living life in their preferred way?
But what about the anti social behaviour? What about the violence? What about the littering and the abuse?
OK, we hear your argument, but are all gypsies like this? Are they all the same? Or is that tarring them all with the same brush?
Well, that’s what the London Gypsies and Travellers group thought, when they challenged an injunction from Bromley Council, banning travellers from nearly 200 sites within the borough,
And guess what?
The judge ruled that it was indeed discriminatory to enforce a blanket ban on an entire community of people, based on the anti social behaviour and negative actions of just a few individuals, and therefore overturned the injunction.
A victory for the travellers then, who were instead met with the news that Bromley Council would be putting out an injunction against fly tipping, littering, vandalism, as well as injunction against persons unknown entering sites with the intention of carrying out such activities.
You kind of feel like saying...well, yeah...duh!
Look, we’re making light of it, but we know where Bromley Council were coming from. Their intention was to come at the situation with a quick fix, a one size fits all solution, but we know from experience, that this simply doesn’t work.
In order to get the level of results that we at #TeamCES get with travellers, trespassers and persons unknown, you have to build, maintain and nurture relationships, you have to treat people how you would like to be treated.
You have to give respect, before you get respect.