Yesterday, Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey wrote a ridiculous virtue-signalling article about travellers in the Eastern Daily Press.
We don’t want to jump to conclusions, but some might suggest he appears to be justifying people breaking the law when he writes:
“While I recognise illegal encampments within your communities causes concern, we then must appreciate the fact that members of the Travelling community have rights too, such as access to a private and family life and education for their children.
“With a chronic national shortage of authorised Traveller sites, which is not the responsibility of the police service, the vast majority of people are opting to live on unauthorised land despite the issues this causes for all involved.”
Then a few paragraphs later, he contradicts himself by saying “We know that only a small element of the Travelling community is connected to criminality.”
With this sort of attitude to crime, I can’t believe he’s even a police officer, let alone a chief constable!
Why should travellers get free camp sites? They can pay for a caravan pitch or rent a static caravan. Everyone else has to pay rent, after all.
The article makes a passing reference to the events in Cromer last summer, which you can read more about here.
One evening last August, a mob of about 100 travellers descended on the North Norfolk seaside town and a teenage girl waiting at a bus stop was raped, reportedly by 2 men.
Groups of travellers went into restaurants and pubs demanding food and drink and refused to pay for it, and also intimidated staff and other customers. All the locals were told to stay in and lock their doors and all the shops and pubs were closed.
Even at the time, some felt the local police tried to downplay the matter, when stating “People’s perception of disorder is one for themselves…What we need to put balance on is reports over the weekend as dramatically exaggerated as a town in lock down. In actual fact disorder of any level had calmed down dramatically by yesterday morning.”
Although the police and council refused to say who was responsible for the disorder, a statement from authorities in the wake of the drama revealed they had evicted 23 traveller caravans that had pitched up at the same time illegally.
There are many angry comments below Simon Bailey’s article, including “No Mr Bailey, if I went into a restaurant in Cromer and helped myself to a bottle of drink you would get a police constable to arrest me, however if the travellers do that as they did last year you will sit back and do nothing. Is that equal and balanced treatment? You are a disgrace to the uniform. I know a few of your officers who share the same opinion.”
Another commenter summed up the situation well by saying: “Most of us have a sense of natural justice and are happy to see people live a lifestyle of their choice so long as it does not impinge on the majority…All we ask is that the law is used fairly and not used to bully the settled community into accepting behaviour that is not accepted from anyone else.”