Tuesday, 20 September 2011


In recent days, reports in the media have focused on Travellers and their illegal occupation of land in Essex. Some of the stories are balanced, some not so. The broad range of articles usually look at how Travellers occupy land illegally and how local communities living in fear of being overun by Travellers, negatively affecting their lives.
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.
These are just a few 'perceptions' - so what is the truth... if its out there?


  1. I have very limited experience of travellers as any possible land they could use here in Folkestone has been surrounding by ditches to stop them using it!

    The only experience I did have was a group that set up home near where I lived as a teenager (on some grassland awaiting construction work) who insisted on taking their big dogs everywhere they went, even into shops with "No Dogs" signs which meant they ended up banned from every local shop (even Sainsburys!). Very inconsiderate.

    Ironically I have gypsy heritage, and on one return trip to Snodland was introduced by my Mum to one of my paternal relatives whose name was... Gypsy Joe (who owned the timber yard!). The shock was intense ;)

  2. I have had direct (bad) experience with gypsies. They are thieves and agressive troublemakers. They leave destruction wherever they go.