Statement from London Gypsies and Travellers: in response to the housing minister’s announcement of a government review of laws dealing with unauthorised encampments on 5th April 2018
“We hope this review gives the government the opportunity to show political leadership in addressing the fundamental causes of unauthorised encampments – the severe shortage of authorised sites for Gypsies and Travellers.
Police and local authorities already have the powers they need to evict Travellers who have no other option but to camp in unauthorised locations. Greater powers to evict are not the solution and will only cause greater hardship for families on the roadside – increasing insecurity, encouraging public prejudice, disrupting family life, threatening health and wellbeing and preventing access to education, work and services.
Instead, we wish to build on positive work addressing the lack of authorised sites taking place in London, in collaboration with the Greater London Authority and local councils. The way forward is dialogue between stakeholders, research into the causes of unauthorised stopping and constructive alternatives to eviction such as negotiated stopping sites.”