For many, the perception of Travellers making their home on a site nearby, whether legal or not, is highly unfavourable. Whilst I have my own views and experiences, it seems that it is difficult to obtain the full facts to allow all of us to make informed decisions and furthermore, it appears that anyone who criticises Travellers is accused of being racist.
I would therefore be interested to know the truth, as my views are not positive and I feel that we could all benefit from knowing whether Travellers are disruptive or merely neighbours living unconventional lives. Ideally, this should be investigated by the media, but failing that, I would like to hear some feedback from my readers; not hearsay or rumours, but actual experiences on the following areas of concern when Travellers move in:
Some perceptions of Travellers sites:
- Increased crime in the local area, including theft, damage and car crime.
- An increase in anti-social behaviour
- Mess and damage during and after occupation
- Planning laws flouted on official sites
- Travellers pay no income tax and council tax, yet always seem to be driving shiny new cars
- Travellers still make use social benefits and local council services
- Traveller groups are buying land and illegally living on it - where do they get hundreds of thousands of pounds to purchase the land?
- House prices are negatively affected near to sites.