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Police and Roma
PRIMERr project
TRAILER project

Promoting equality and rights for British Gypsies and Travellers in the UK (2006 - present)

Building upon the success of a Western European Regional Workshop on Policing in Relation to Roma, Gypsy and Traveller Communities which took place in Derbyshire, UK in November 2006, European Dialogue has been commissioned to

Produce a pratical guidance booklet on policing in relation to Gypsies and Travellers in England and Wales

Build the capacity of the National Federation of Gypsy Liasion Groups Network

Pratical guidance booklet on policing in relation to Gypsies and Travellers

Relations between police and Gypsy and Traveller communities throughout the UK have presented a challenge for many years, in part based upon a long history of confrontation and the on-going social issues facing Travellers and Gypsies. In recent years much has been done to improve the relationship, not least the Moving Forward initiative supported by the Home Office and implemented by the Derbyshire police and the Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group .

This successful project has worked to improve liaison, trust, mutual respect and understanding between police and Travellers, to enable sustainable support to improve and inform policing.  The inclusion of Gypsy and Traveller communities in police training, and the establishment of strategic partnerships have both been cornerstones of this work.

Building on these positive initiatives, European Dialogue has been commissioned by the Home Office, Communities and Local Government, and National Police Improvement Agency to produce a practical guidance booklet on policing in relation to Gypsies and Irish Travellers to be distributed to all forces across England and Wales.

The target audience for this booklet will be front-line police officers in England and Wales, and will contain information relevant to operational policing in relation to Gypsies and Travellers. It will essentially seek to re-emphasize the fact that Gypsies and Travellers have the same rights and should be treated equally to all other citizens. Within this framework, by providing information about Romani Gypsies’ and Irish Travellers’ cultural customs and practices, the booklet aims to inform police practice and assist police officers in delivering a high quality service to all. This information should help police officers better assess the impact of actions undertaken in relation to Gypsies and Travellers.

Extensive consultation with both members of the community and police officers will be an essential component in producing the booklet. European Dialogue is aiming to publish the booklet in the autumn of 2007.

Building the capacity of the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups Network

This project aims to build the capacity of a national level network – the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups to give the marginalized Gypsy and Traveller community a stronger and united voice to represent their interests at local, regional and national levels, and in international activities.

The Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups (the ‘Federation’) is a national level network of British Romany Gypsy community representatives. The Federation was set up in May 2006, after the Travellers Law Reform Coalition – a UK-based network which primarily lobbied Parliament for Gypsy and Traveller rights – was disbanded by the G/T participants. The Federation is currently hosted on a voluntary basis by the Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group. Consultation with grass roots Gypsy and Traveller communities is fed into this structure through the National Federation of Gypsy and Traveller Groups Forum, which allows groups and individuals who are not aligned with any group/movement to represent their views.

This project will build the capacity of the Federation by developing and enhancing skills required to support a programme of structured activities.

The project will take place in three distinct phases, over 15 months:

In Phase 1 we will identify the regional steering groups and supporting them in carrying out in-depth consultation with Gypsy and Traveller communities across England, through regional conferences and through needs’ analysis.

In Phase 2 we will develop Local Action Plans (LAPs), on the basis of the needs identified in Phase 1, and presenting them to the relevant local, regional and national authorities.

In Phase 3 we will identify models of good practice developed under Phases 1 & 2, and develop policy responses to be proposed to UK government, and to be brought forward through participation in government-level Gypsy and Traveller working groups, and to raise the issues with European institutions based in Brussels.

Read more about the Federation