December 11, 2019 9.51 am This story is over 28 months old

Humberside Police Crime Commissioner denounces “racist” traveller threats

Mr Hunter said most of them were cowards – but they created a hostile environment

Humberside’s Police and Crime Commissioner has said anyone who makes comments or threats of action against the traveller community “is a racist”.

Earlier this year, a councillor highlighted social media threats and residents letters which included comments which repeated claims travellers could be “stoned, bottled and fire-bombed” by “Nunny thugs”.

Her comments resulted in complaints from human rights and traveller groups

Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter said anyone reported to be making such threats against the community, which is a protected group in law, would be “fully investigated” by officers.

He said: “Anyone making comments or threats of action against the traveller community, anyone who makes comments along that line is a racist and are making criminal statements.

Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter. Photo: Daniel Jaines

“Most of the people who talk about these things are cowards and will not back it up, but it provides a hostile environment for people to use more hateful language and I denounce that in the “strongest possible terms.”

We cannot allow anyone to make criminal statements about travellers in the belief they can getaway with it,” he said.

Mr Hunter said he has long been a proponent of local authorities providing sites for travellers to stay.

He believed it would help police perform their own roles better by allowing travellers who trespass on land the opportunity to move to a place they were allowed to be rather than illegally encamped.

North East Lincolnshire Council has drawn up a shortlist of five sites on the Nunsthorpe Estate and in South Ward which could be potential temporary stopping places.

Several of those against the plans, including Councillor Jane Bramley who highlighted the social media threats originally, gathered outside North East Lincolnshire Council Scrutiny last week.

They are:

  • The former youth club on Wootton Road, Nunsthorpe
  • Torksey Drive and Toynton Road site, off Winchester Avenue
  • Land under the Cleethorpe Road flyover
  • Garibaldi Street car park
  • The car park off Wellington Street

Public consultation is due to begin following the December 12 general election.

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