June 2020 Update

The GRTPA condemns all forms of racism or discrimination towards any individual or group of people. Our ethos is based upon fairness, respect, solidarity and the determination to improve the working conditions of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Police Officers and staff, along with vitally improving service provision to our communities.

The month of June is a significant one for the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, as it celebrates the diverse ways in which the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities add to the vibrancy of life in the UK and recognises the varied contributions that we continue to make.

June 2020 has been an extremely difficult month for all of us. We are all outraged and disturbed by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Department officers. We continue to express our deepest sympathies and love for the friends and family of George Flloyd, but also to our black friends, colleagues and the wider communities. We stand with you in the fight against racism and we concur the Black Lives Matter campaign. We stand shoulder to shoulder and see eye to eye.

The GRTPA is also aware of other recent events occurring in Europe, whereby Police brutality against the Roma communities is still present. An example would be from Slovakia. A police officer is said to have beaten five young children with a baton and according to the children’s testimony, he even threatened to shoot them. The entire incident is said to have been observed and unchallenged by a soldier from the Slovak army. We understand an investigation has been launched however this demonstrates what our communities across the world are still subject to. 

Racism and discrimination towards Gypsy, Roma and Travellers is also very much prevalent within the UK and unfortunately the Police service isn’t an exception. Our members often report incidents to us, some of which we find truly appalling and ensure are immediately acted upon.

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Channel 4 Dispatches - GRTPA Response

Having watched Dispatches last night, the Gypsy Roma Traveller Police Association believe that the programme was racist, unbalanced and extremely offensive to the Gypsy and Traveller Community.

We were disgraced by the content of it and have already seen an increase in the prejudice our community faces as a result.

The Association would like to ask NPCC lead for GRT communities to support a national review into the service provision by police to GRT communities.

This review should focus on identifying and eliminating internal systematic institutional racism and bias.

The need for this is not only evidenced by the Traveller Movement report into relationships between GRT and Police but also the fact a uniformed police officer on national television felt it was acceptable and safe to be openly racist. His remarks show a complete lack of understanding of the complexities that exist in community policing and indeed policing today.

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