In a short film made by LGT, Gypsies and Travellers are sharing their responses to Channel 4 Dispatches programme The Truth about Traveller Crime.
Since the programme was aired on 16th April, LGT has been gathering reactions from Gypsies and Travellers in London and beyond to feed into its formal complaints to Channel 4 and Ofcom, and to broadcast community voices more widely.
LGT Vice Chair of Trustees Marian Mahoney said: “We have always had a good relationship with the police and I don’t think the police would leave crime go unnoticed no matter the race or culture of people. The programme is inciting racial hatred and destroying the very good work that Travellers and Gypsies have done through integrating with the settled community and the people in authority.”
Matt Cooper, who owns a roofing and construction business, said: “We are being discriminated hugely and this programme on Channel 4 will now have an effect on our children even further in schools. This will cause huge amounts of bullying, racial abuse and discrimination to be thrown at our children.”
We also heard from young people in the community. Angela Mahoney, a qualified care worker, said: “What gives them the right to paint everyone with the same brush? I went through secondary school, and people tried to bully me about my background. And for them to paint me as a criminal because I am an Irish Traveller, it disturbs me. This also affects the lives of my nephews and the life of the rest of my family, and could damage my future because I am a care worker, and my clients might judge me because of the Dispatches programme.”
Drewy Price, a City and Guilds qualified construction worker, said: “She [the reporter] put us all in the same category. It was discrimination. In any community there are bad people. If you put coloured beads in a jar and say all the yellow are criminals so all the other colours are too, that would be ridiculous.”
LGT hopes the short film will amplify the strength of feeling in the community and inspire others to speak out against prejudice and discrimination.
If you would like to contribute to the campaign, record a short video or audio message and post it on social media with the hashtag #AfterDispatches