Public Outcry Triggers Police Investigation of Traveler Sites Leaflet by Welsh Secretary


Police are looking into a pamphlet that Welsh Secretary and Monmouth MP David TC Davies issued and which was said to have racial overtones.The leaflet urged readers to share their opinions on the local Labour-controlled council’s intentions to “establish a number of Gypsy Traveler sites in the county” in what was dubbed an “important update to constituents.”

The term “Gypsy and Traveler Site Coming to Your Area Soon!” appears under this topic. The Conservative MP stated his concern that “many residents will not be able to participate” because the public consultation on the proposals will take place during the summer vacation.

Davies’ leaflet provided his own form for individuals to fill out and asked residents to provide their contact information and their own opinion on the creation of the sites. The Conservative Party will utilize constituents’ information with their approval “during and after election periods,” according to a privacy agreement that was included in the document.

A Plaid Cymru member of the Welsh Senedd named Mabon ap Gwynfor criticized the booklet. He said in a Welsh tweet that was translated into English that it “borders on racism” and that the Roma group “is the community that has been most persecuted” in the UK.

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Leaflet Controversy

The brochure clearly violated the Equality Act, according to Traveling Ahead, an organization that supports and counsels the Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller populations in Wales. 

It denounced “dog whistle actions designed to incite an environment hostile to gypsies and travelers.” The project manager of Traveling Ahead, Trudy Aspinwall, told WalesOnline, which broke the story, that she had received calls from a number of gypsy, Roma, and traveler families worried about the pamphlet.

She continued, saying that they were “upset, angry, and worried that sites that might become homes for gypsy or traveler people could be viewed with hostility, and any piece of land that might end up being subject to this kind of high-level discrimination and hostility.”  Police are investigating the reports as a result. 

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Source: The guardian

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