Councillor calls for police to charge travellers
Published 14 Jul 2012 09:00 13 Comments
A WEST Fife councillor wants gypsy travellers who removed barriers to gain access to a site in Dalgety Bay to be charged by the police.
Alice McGarry spoke out after caravans and trucks moved onto land owned by Ingenico, at Ferris Way in Hillend Industrial Estate, on Tuesday.
Fellow SNP councillor Neale Hanvey said travellers also moved onto a site in Dunfermline, near the Elgin Industrial Estate, and allegedly threatened a local resident.
It's the second time in two years that a camp has been set up on Ingenico's land - the company took court action in July 2010 to tackle the issue.
Councillor McGarry, who represents Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay, said, "It's appalling.
"It's bad enough they're going onto land that's not theirs but they've moved huge stones to gain access.
"In my view that's breaking and entering and they should be charged for it.
"I've been told there are 11 caravans and the expectation is there will be more."
Ingenico declined to comment but the chair of Dalgety Bay Community Council, Colin McPhail, said, "We are back to square one as they are on the same piece of land that they were on in July 2010.
"It's private land and the company that owns it had to spend a lot of money to remove them two years ago with an interim interdict.
"Ingenico provide services to the banking sector and other institutions and they've said the travellers' presence could put their business in jeopardy."
He continued, "The only reason they got in this time was because they used a machine to lift one of the boulders, which were put up as a barrier after last time, out of the way.
"It's a long-standing problem as there are also four caravans in another part of the industrial estate that have been there since February, just off Beech Way.
"It's the lack of control that's frustrating.
"Fife Council send in a liaison officer but all they do is ask if the travellers are happy, if they can get them a water supply and try to make them feel at home!"
"As a community we're really feeling downhearted about it happening again.
"There was supposed to be a Fife Council policy and new encampments to deal with this but nothing has been done."
John Mills, a senior manager in housing at Fife Council, said, "Fife Council has visited all of the encampments in West Fife.
"We are supporting landowners to take appropriate legal action to remove gypsy travellers where they are causing nuisance or it is unsafe for them to occupy the land.
"There are also examples of encampments where the gypsy travellers are co-operating with council officers to minimise the impact on the surrounding community.
"Fife Council is promoting the creation of stopover sites to avoid the need for unauthorised encampments.
" There are no active plans at present to seek planning consents for stopovers in West Fife."
A spokesperson for Fife police said, "Any report of damage being caused or other alleged criminal acts will be fully investigated by officers of Fife Constabulary to establish the circumstances.
"We will continue to work closely with our partners in Fife Council to manage the ongoing situation in Dalgety Bay."
A smaller group of travellers moved onto a new access pathway linking Liggars Bridge with Elgin Industrial Estate at the start of the week.
Dunfermline Central SNP councillor Neale Hanvey said, "I got a call on Monday night to go and have a look as travellers had set up an illegal camp, three caravans and a couple of trucks.
"It is causing some concern locally and I've had one report of a local man being threatened by travellers there.
"It's vital that Fife Council take some responsibility and get on with finding suitable sites for travelling people."
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Jul 14, 11:35
Jul 14, 21:22
No they're not - the Shepherd Land is in the background. The picture is taken showing the last invasion of the land where the new housing across the road from Carnegie Primary is.
Recommend? Yes 0 No 2
Jul 15, 11:35
No, drive past it. They are in the road leading to Shepherd Offshore, next to the new retail development. It is owned by Shepherd, not FC or some housing folk. The pic is from last year.
Recommend? Yes 0 No 0
Jul 15, 12:31
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Jul 15, 15:50
It's really annoying when people make comments based on their own prejudices and without reading the actual storyline in the article!
The two areas mentioned in the article are land in Dalgety Bay (see http://www.iscotland.co.uk/profile/368446/Dunfermline/Ingenico-Fortronic-Ltd/ )and land near the Elgin Street Ind Est (see http://admin.1fife.org.uk/uploadfiles/publications/c64_Item13-Combined-Report,Appendices1and2.pdf).
The picture is irrelevant to this, though it does show land at Duloch, behind Halbeath, an area where travellers have stopped for as long as I remember, and I'll be 64 next month.
In my view, if people got hot under the collar about anything, it should be about the encroachment of the eastern expansion (or DEX as the apologists call it) onto land for centuries occupied by the flora and fauna of the ancient Calais Woods. That impacts more on our heritage than travellers camped for a short time on Industrial estates in Elgin Street or Dalgety Bay!
Recommend? Yes 9 No 5
Jul 16, 02:20
At the end of the day they broke the law removing barriers to enter and illgally set up camp.Charge them and remove them....any local taxpayer breaking the law would be charged within the blink of an eye so why should these people be given any special treatment ? As for the council approaching them and asking if they are happy,can they get them water supplies etc......woah there...thats water that the taxpayers of Fife pay for ,if the council want to supply them with water ,waste disposal or anything else I suggest it comes right out the individuals own pocket not the Fife taxpayer. I suggest the suits down the town council grow a set of B**s and start standing up for the people who effectively pay their astronimical salaries year in year out.
Recommend? Yes 13 No 0
Jul 16, 02:48
Where these travelling people have camped is perfectly acceptable and the right place for them. They blend in with the surrounding area and are not at all out of place. Leave them alone, they are contributing to the local economy which needs all the help it can get!
Recommend? Yes 5 No 23
Jul 16, 14:39
@NotHappyJan - I don't know why you think that where the travellers set up camp is acceptable?!?
As for contributing to the local economy - I think you will find that crime rates increase and you only need to ask the local retailers how much they lose when there are travellers present.
I totally agree with Scotslass64 - why should we (the local taxpayer) by stung for facilities to be given out for free to travelling people who DO NOT PAY COUNCIL TAX!!!
You have clearly never had to deal with the aftermath of having travellers on your land. What they leave behing is truly disgusting (human waste, animal waste, dirty nappies and a load of rubbish), so how is it fair for the land owner to have to clear this up?????
The money that it is costing companies to get rid of travelling sites is ridiculous and in fact this is having a negative effect on our local economies. Companies who could do with saving costs are having to pay out tens of thousands dealing with travelling communities, bearing in mind that not only do they have the legal costs of court orders etc, but they also have the cost of the clean up and costs for blocking access so that they cannot return!!
@NotHappyJan - maybe before making comments such as this in future, you should clear some of your land and invite them to set up camp there and see not only how much it costs you to get rid of them, but the destruction they leave behind.
Recommend? Yes 18 No 2
Jul 17, 00:29
the travellers were happy to go on TV showing off thier life style ,and what stuck in my craw was thier big vans and cars ,why dont they BUY land and move around on their own sites yearly instead of invading other peoples land .they cant have it all there way
Recommend? Yes 10 No 0
Jul 17, 03:53
@theone6 - I think the fact the travellers have set up where they are speaks volumes, they obviously think they blend in with thier surroundings, which they do. They have set up camp to be near thier own demographic, which they have. Of course the crime rate increases when they are around, that is because the local crims ramp up thier activity knowing the travellers will be blamed.
I totally disagree with Scotslass64 - if you can get away with paying any Council Tax and still get the services, then why not! The cost to you is a miniscule fraction of 1 pence.
I agree, clearly I have never had to deal with the aftermath of having travellers on my land. I do not own a big enough slice of land for them to camp on. What they leave behind should be collected by Council and disposed of accordingly. We all produce waste so they are not unique in that regard.
I do however disagree on the money it is costing companies to get rid of travelling sites, unless you owned one of the companies concerned you would have no idea. They would get a tax break on it anyway so its a superflous statement. I also disagree regarding your assumption of them having a negative rather than positive effect on the local economy.
@theone6 - maybe before making comments such as this you should consider the fact that people need a place to stay whether it be temporary or otherwise. If the land is vacant, I see no reason why it cannot be utilised. If you do not like it perhaps you should move to an area where there is no vacant land for travellers to move onto, that way they will be out of sight and out of mind for you. In future, try to show some understanding and compassion but that may be beyond you.
Recommend? Yes 2 No 11
Jul 17, 08:05
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Jul 17, 08:39
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Jul 17, 10:45
Jul 17, 10:48
Jul 19, 19:05
I the do liberal do gooders who think it is ok for these travelling people to go where ever they want would have a different view point if they witnessed the mess left, were victims of crime committed by these so called Gypsies or seen how much Fife Council actually spend on these people who get there protection from the law by claiming to be an ethnic minority.
After years witnessing this at first hand it is apparent that these people, despite lack of education are actually quite intelligent as they no the law better than the police and can get through life without paying tax, not even Rangers could get away with that.
Recommend? Yes 3 No 0
Jul 19, 20:40