Responding to the announcement of a new criminal offence to tackle unauthorised encampments, Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies said:
“Because of our shared history, the Jewish community is acutely aware of how Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities have suffered. The disgraceful revelations about Pontins holiday parks, recently exposed by the EHRC, have sadly shown that this discrimination is not yet consigned to the past. With that in mind, as we stated in our submission to the Home Office consultation on unauthorised encampments, any new policy must be very careful in terms of its potential impact on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, which are already some of the most marginalised in the UK. It is the lack of authorised sites that is the root of the problem and we ask that policymakers heed the calls of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, as well as many police, who are cautioning against criminalising unauthorised encampments.”
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