Redbridge Council apologises to Traveller community after form insult

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Redbridge Council has apologised after listing the Traveller community as a form of antisocial behaviour in an online reporting form.

Andres Baravalle noticed that both “travellers” and “travellers on private land” were listed alongside offences such as fighting, public urination and criminal damage on the online form.

A Redbridge Council spokesperson apologised for the error, made by an officer no longer with the council, and said it had been changed to “illegal encampment”.

Andres tweeted at the council: “Apparently for @RedbridgeLive being a #traveller is an antisocial behaviour per se.

“Could you step into this century and update your antisocial behaviour form? It wouldn’t hurt apologising to the Traveller community too.”

Margaret Greenfields added: “Travellers on a par with noisy neighbours, Japanese knotweed and incidents of indecent exposure.”

A 2017 survey into the community carried out by Traveller Movement found that 90 per cent of respondents had experienced discrimination and 77 per cent had experienced hate speech or a hate crime.

A Redbridge Council spokesperson said: “This was an error made by an individual officer who has now left the council.

“We apologise for any offence this has caused with the community concerned. The incident description has been amended on the relevant section of the website.”

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter