Leeds GATE

Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

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Sleep walking into use of wide injunction orders causes great concern to Gypsies and Travellers across England

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  August 23, 2018 |

The ordinary by-passer might have no reason to be aware of the significant growth in 'wide injunction orders' being granted to local authorities to guard against unathorised encampment, but it is a matter that anyone concerned with human rights should be aware of.  To breach such an injunction whether you were aware of it or not, by camping on land subject to such an order, can be punishable by a fine or even a prison sentence. Below is a briefing from Chris Johnson of the Travellers Advice Team at Community Law Partnership and Marc Willers QC of Garden Court Chambers.  It makes grim reading.  Surely we should be wary of allowing the courts and local authorities to sleep walk us into a position where UK citizens can be punished for crimes they did not commit, or if they did, where they had absolutely no alternative but to do so?  

Leeds GATE and our colleagues in Leeds City Council have proven that it is possible to effectively manage unauthorised encampment in such a way (what we call negotiated stopping) that nuisance and cost can be significantly reduced, if not removed altogether.  And yet these draconian injunctions are being granted to local authorities who have made no attempt to otherwise manage encampment.  We can only hope that a legal challenge will be brought that puts a stop to this trend as soon as possible.



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