Incitement to Hatred Against Gypsies & Travellers – Man to Stand Trial January 2018

NoHateNAGTRW can confirm that a man that posted “WE SHOULD HAVE A NATIONAL BATTER GYPOS DAY” on a FACEBOOK page belonging to the GRIMSBY TELEGRAPH will appear in Grimsby Crown Court on 25th January 2018.

We believe this to be a land mark case – it is long overdue that Gypsies and Travellers should receive protection under the law from such threat and racial abuse. Although the legislation was of course always there to protect it was not being used effectively by Police and Prosecutors.



But please remember – we do not want hate speech written about us – so we must not post hate speech about others.

Please respect others.

ETHNIC FRAUD [cultural appropriation] & How It Discriminates Against Gypsies & Travellers.

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 11.56.59

Cultural Appropriation or probably more accurately misappropriation occurs when a person adopts aspects and characteristics of a culture that is not their own. This can cause a great deal of insult to members of the chosen culture because it potentially alters outside perceptions of their culture, they find themselves being redefined often in a more romantic way or a way that fits the agenda of those that indulge in this. For instance Gypsy women are often portrayed as barefoot in flowing skirts, or dressed in dancing costumes that are more in keeping with Turkish Belly Dancers, in contrast they might be portrayed as evil crones casting spells.

Fashion retailers market clothing as Gypsy skirts or blouses the young women modeling the clothing are more often than not barefoot, and pouting upon the steps of a painted Vardo [caravan]. Gypsies are portrayed in an old world fairy tale way that has little in common with reality or the modern world. This is seen by many as harmless but its effects are not harmless at all, it creates an image that is marketed, a form of unintentional learning that the general public perceive as what ‘real Gypsies’ are all about, it’s all very twee and whimsical. When Gypsy people do not fit into this widely marketed delusion they are not accepted readily, how often do we see amid scathing comments under news articles about Gypies and Travellers the question

“These are not real Gypsies” or ‘Where have all the real Gypsies gone?”

A great deal has been written about cultural appropriation, but I wish to tackle a more sinister practice that is often referred to as Cultural Appropriation but goes above and beyond the boundaries of cultural [mis] appropriation that being Ethnic Fraud.

Ethnic Fraud is when a person claims an ethnicity that is not their own. The case of Rachel Dolezal who engaged in Ethnic Fraud by claiming to be an African American is well documented, Dolezal ,while masquerading as an African American was a civil rights activist and also taught Africana studies, and was president of the National Association for the advancement of Coloured people. Dolezal was later exposed by her parents who made it known that she was not an African American at all but a white woman, the child of European American parents. Dolezal has also claimed to be the victim of a number of hate crimes but investigations by Police proved this allegations to be false.

Dolezal defended herself by saying that although she was born white she ‘identified’ as black and therein lays a potential minefield*.

If we look across the Pond to America and Canada we will find that there is quite a lot of work being done to challenge both Cultural Appropriation and Ethnic Fraud The indigenous peoples are particularly susceptible to this and a great deal of work is being done to try and counter this.

In Canada The Canadian Romani Alliance also speak out very strongly against Cultural Appropriation & Ethnic Fraud – they have even challenged individuals in UK – but for some reason Gypsies and Travellers in UK are for the most part quite happy to allow this to continue unchallenged – there may be a bit of whispering but on the whole people are not making the challenge, and those that do so risk being attacked for making a stand.

Here in UK I have watched some of our homegrown ethnic frauds do very nicely indeed. I have seen them receive accolades that have been gained based on the belief of others that they are Romany or Traveller. I have seen them speak publicly to audiences about themselves, their families, their lives and the discrimination they have faced, although the facts do tend to change if you take the trouble to collect and compare. I have also seen such fraud benefit individuals in education, effectively robbing other Romany people of opportunity and raising the bar into the bargain. There are many Romany here in UK have achieved a great deal educationally, they tend not to seek praise and publicity for this. And what of those who might have gone into higher education using assumed Romany ethnicity as an access enhancer? Did they for instance get granted a scholarship to aid study? when exposed should any scholarship money be returned? I would argue that every penny should be returned.

Academics here in UK court such individuals, they do not realize that they are dealing with ethnic fraud, and have been taken in by them. These cuckoo’s that have invaded our nest sit well within the comfort zone of these academics, and they will do – because they are their people and not ours. They will have invested time and belief in the individual concerned, possibly their names linked in academic research or similar they might well be very loath to accept the truth because it brings with it a hornets nest that is probably [from their point of view] best left undisturbed.

Many of the Organizations run by non Gypsies and Travellers can be seen to welcome ethnic frauds – I am not suggesting they are aware of the fraud but again the attraction might well lie in a shared empathy because they have that common ground from being from the wider community, this of course will not be expressed as such, but we do pick up on shared outlooks without the need for words – so the promotion of the frauds continues. It is so hard to grapple with because so often I hear so many Gypsy and Traveller people speak with utter distain about one such fraudster – and with very good reason – yet nothing is actually done to challenge this person and the harm that they do on a very regular basis.

We surely must raise questions about and challenge Gypsy and Traveller Organizations that might be headed by individuals who are committing ethnic fraud. They put themselves in a position whereby in effect they speak for us, often without any consultation or approval, I experienced a very disturbing example of this in 2010 that caused a great deal of harm and still troubles me deeply to this day.

Over the years there has been a great deal of money available to aid Gypsy and Traveller Organisations and to Academics conducting research etc – it has been a very lucrative ‘business’ to be in, and although many are run by non Gypsy or Traveller people [another issue] there are those run by people who claim to be from a Gypsy back ground when that simply is not true, the latter being the more objectionable issue.

I cannot cite who has personally made monies on this pretext, because I simply do not know but over the years a great deal of money has been passed over to many orgs and some of it has been passed to Orgs run by those claiming to be Gypsy when they are not. Many a book has been written and sold on the same basis.

I have heard it said that those so unhappy with their own lives that they invent another should be the focus of pity, but I am sorry I cannot be generous enough to agree. When these people speak at conferences what they have said is taken away that day by those who attend. It is taken to police forces, to schools, to health professionals, to social workers etc etc – a distorted fabricated and often totally false representation of Gypsy and Traveller people – the same can be said when books are produced by them – while some of the content might be accurate other parts are given a hefty shovel load of artistic license, these books are not sold as works of fiction, so they re-write and distort our history over the years this will become what is widely believed to be how our lives were, how we lived, how we spoke – in effect we actually will become those whimsical characters in story books – because that is exactly what some of these books are….story books!

Romany Gypsies have endured much by way of discrimination over the centuries, at one point in history it was a criminal offence to even speak to us. We have been enslaved, we have been murdered in our hundreds of thousands in the Nazi Death Camps. we have had our children removed for no other reason than that of them coming from an undesirable ethnicity, and you might be surprised to learn that far from being a practice we can look back on from a time when life was more brutal – it is a fact that even now in 2017 children from Gypsy and Traveller families are often removed and subjected to forced adoption. I have been involved for some years now in helping to support such families and scouring through files you are often left with no tangible reason other than disapproval of ethnicity that is deemed to place a child ‘at risk of future emotional harm’ – something that is accepted with very little question by the Family Courts in UK . Those same Courts fail to consider the enormous emotional harm done by tearing children from loving families placing siblings with different foster carers or adopters, and taking away not only the sense of self and self worth but cleansing out the ethnicity – robbing the children of cultural identity, sterilising and cleansing the very soul out of them.

I myself was one of those children over sixty years ago I was removed from my family because my grandmother had Tuberculosis. I was passed to my ‘new family’ for adoption within days, neither my mother nor any member of my family knew I was to be adopted or gave their consent to that. It took me more than two decades to find my way home – a long and costly journey looking for ‘Jones the Gypsy” in Wales without the benefit of the Internet or social media. Oh it would have been in many ways so much easier to find my family had I had the Internet and social media, but I am thankful that I was spared that ease of passage because it would have come together with so much misinformation etc due to cultural appropriation and ethnic fraud.

Had I began my search today I would be faced with Gypsy Queens to cobble dogs with, I would have also read books that are available online that are written by ethnic frauds who tell feel good , rose tinted tales of their fantastic lives as Gypsy children. My own family would have seemed very tame and boring in comparison. I might have read books about how to liaise with Gypsies and Travellers and how Health Professionals and others should take instruction before they work with them, I think in all fairness I would have been very put off, very worried and completely alienated by what I read, I would not only have been aware [as I was] about the loss of my cultural identity, but because I was an adult with children of my own, reading how health professionals might need a book to teach them how to liaise with people like my family, I would have felt bereft that my DNA, my cultural identity would be in conflict with the young woman that I had become. I might well have decided that it was best to stay away.

Had I encountered the ethnic frauds I would never have learned that the first words my mother said when she knew I was looking for her and read my letter to her would be       “ my dignity has been restored’ because the theft of her child made her feel an unworthy mother, even though she went on to have other children. I would never have seen adult family members with noses just like mine or that had my daughters unruly mop of hair, I would never have learned about the struggles and hardships but in contrast the rich culture the importance of family – the ethnic frauds would in effect have stolen my family from me all over again.

Having given an insight into my personal reasons for making a stance against ethnic fraud I would like to look at it from a wider perspective.

There are so many talented and gifted people within the Gypsy and Traveller community in UK, there also some formidable activists who do a wonderful job of trying to ensure a better future, or even a future at all, There are other activists who claim to be Gypsy people, who go to great lengths and invest considerable amounts of money to appear to be Romany Gypsy or Traveller in an effort ensure the world is fully aware of them being Gypsy people, when in fact they are not Gypsy people at all. We need to be asking what motivates these people.

While cultural appropriation is annoying, unpleasant, misleading and insulting it pales into a degree on insignificance when you measure it against ethnic fraud – some might think the term ethnic fraud to be a little too strong, but when you explore what results from this it should be deemed to be a legally accountable form of discrimination.

I have encountered some of these ethnic fraudsters on a first hand basis, I have heard their stories, indeed it was during a phone call with one such person that they took their story telling a little too far and alarm bells began to ring.They ventured onto a subject that I knew a great deal about and because of this I was in no doubt at all that I was being lied to.

Those who build their lives around ethnic fraud tend to do so obsessively, they have to keep up the pretense every waking moment for fear that truth might slip in and be seen. Some years ago I discussed this with a cousin who told me that the wannabees – as they are commonly referred to are “more Romany than the Romanies themselves, they are professional Gypsies, and they do very well out of it”, when I considered this I released he was absolutely correct. My own family members though very proud of their ethnicity do not feel the need to parade it to everyone they meet, sadly some rarely mention it outside of family and close friends because of the fear of discrimination.

I have struggled with the pros and cons of writing this piece, the cons are quite compelling. I know that the likelihood is that I will be attacked from all corners, because nobody likes to feel they have been taken in by an elaborate and lengthy fraud and I am prepared for the inevitable backlash – the truth is not always welcome hence the old saying “ Don’t shoot the messenger”,

I have struggled here to put across why I feel so strongly about ethnic fraud – I made prior reference to the indigenous peoples of America & Canada being victims of ethnic fraud; I would like to use the words of Hayden King who pleads the case far better than I.

Hayden King is Anishinaabe  and he challenged the Canadian writer Joseph Boyden by asking ‘where are you from?”, and it transpired that although successful and writing under the guise of being of Nipmuc or Ojiwe heritage research found no evidence of this, Haden goes on to list why this ethnic fraud must be challenged, describing it as pernicious stating that “there is lots wrong with this form of ‘ethnic fraud’ he said; 

  • It misrepresents indigenous peoples
  •  It takes resources away from them, (such as grants and awards for their work),
  • Ethnic Fraud alienates those struggling to find their identities, Many of the individuals trying to make their way back are all the more confused by the inconsistent and shifting parameters set by prominent ethnic frauds.
  • Playing Indian should not be ignored or excused”
  •  Ethnic fraud sabotages the necessary work of rebuilding indigenous nations
  •  Losing sight of who is a member can be the source of real problems. This is especially true for communities that have suffered terrible historical injustices and now are seeking (and gaining) recognition and restitution ….
  •  And as for ‘posers’, well, in such circumstances, an ethical disposition to include all those who self-identify* as members may have the benefit of extending the reach, scope and influence of the community, as people from all walks of life and all over the world become imagined kin. But it also blurs the lines between insiders and outsiders. It makes it more difficult to identify who has suffered and this can be experienced as a real loss for the community that struggles to survive. The peril of drawing the line using an ethic of self-identification* is that we lose sight of who is a survivor. [*The mine field I mentioned earlier Re Rachel Dolezal ‘self identifying’]

When you read Hayden Kings words as set out above, you can draw uncanny comparison to UK’s Gypsies and Travellers and the difficulties they face – are you still comfortable with ethnic fraud ? Are you still happy to do nothing about it? Do you think ‘playing the Gypsy” is ok?

Here in UK apart from some whispering behind hands there seems to be a passive acceptance of those who are re-writing out history, speaking on our behalf, misrepresenting us at conferences and I cannot understand why that should or even could be acceptable.

If we do not stand up and claim back ownership of our cultural identities they will be lost forever. I would be interested to hear from those who share my concerns, the comment box can be used or you can email

© copyright shay clipson/NAGTRW 2017



NAGTRW have today learned that they appeal they made to IPCC in August 2017 in regard to discrimination against Gypsies & Travellers has been upheld. IPCC have instructed Humberside Police to reinvestigate the matter


This has been a very long 4 year battle so far originating in August 2013 when a man made a post in the local paper the Grimsby Telegraph suggesting Molotov Cocktails could be used to move a group of Gypsy /Travellers on and appealing for others to join him in this. Although this was reported to Humberside Police at the time they took no action, senior officers became involved in passing on false and deliberately misleading information to myself


Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 14.25.01


A Chief Inspector told me that a Vigilante group had formed against the Gypsy /Traveller families, he later denied ever saying this – however officers at the local council had also heard about the vigilante group.


When the man that made the post was identified a senior officer called at my home and told me in detail that the CPS had rejected the case and on what grounds, but the reasons did not stand up to scrutiny and when CPS were approached they denied ever having been involved in such a decision and stated that they had not been handed a file to consider in regard to this case.


There is a great deal of information involved in this case, but the bottom line was my absolute belief that I was being faced with blatant discrimination, since that time I have fought long and hard for justice in this case and to highlight the discrimination faced by the families who were in the area at that time and by myself at the time I was subjected to a vile racist rant from a duty Sgt

On 8th August 2013 – I had every reason to believe that Gypsy /Traveller families staying in the Grimsby area were at serious risk after threats that amounted to death threats were made against them and Humberside Police did nothing at all.

In upholding the appeal IPCC stated

“ I have decided to uphold your appeal. I do not feel that the police have investigated this complaint to its full extent. As a complaint alleging discrimination, I find that the approach has been too narrow looking only at certain aspects of your complaint and not taking into account the important wider issues of discrimination that you raise’

 and continues;

You further point out in your appeal that statements made to the effect that the community did not wish for help [despite your constant requests for help as a representative of that community] is in itself racist. I would argue this also raises concerns that the force should consider about the police response to threats to life, and whether investigating such threats to life should be subject to agreement by the victim.

 I agree your complaint has not been fully addressed. This is disappointing given this is a clear discrimination matter with serious allegations being made of inaction and purposeful failings. I would argue that as a whole the complaint you have made is one of alleged institutionalized racism and should now be considered with that in mind’


While investigating my complaint on both occasions Humberside Police ignored the serious elements of discrimination and of senior officers lying to me and they focused on minor matters. This entire situation has been extremely harrowing – I have no words to describe my anguish when I was reporting these matters and was being constantly fobbed off and lied to when I feared for those families some of whom I have known for many years, and among them some very vulnerable adults and young children.

We now have to wait until the conclusion of the next investigation to see what outcome arises and if the conduct of any officers is passed on to CPS to consider possible criminal charges being brought

We will publish any updates as and when they are available

copyright © 2017 shay clipson NAGTRW

Why MoJ Were Wrong To Dismiss Complaint In Relation To Judge Timothy Spencer. – NAGTRW Comment …

There can be few people who did not feel outrage and revulsion in regard to the recent Lincolnshire Slavery Case. The enslavement or forced labour of one by another is something that many mistakenly assume is part of the past it’s concept is so abhorrent that we are not comfortable with the fact that not only does it still exist today but it exists here in UK and that in our everyday lives we might well use businesses whose workers rely upon them for board and lodge, that do not have access to their own money and that cannot come and go as they please, who often have their passports confiscated and who therefore fall into the category of ‘enforced labour’ which is regarded as modern day slavery.

In the Lincolnshire case media reporting often included in it’s headlines that the defendants were ‘Travellers’. In doing this it gave the impression that the ethnicity of the of the defendants was relevant to the offence in question when in truth it held no relevance at all, like all types of crime offenders come from all walks of life and all ethnic backgrounds. In the case of enforced labour can be something that is carried out by anyone who finds themselves in a position of power over another and decides to exploit that position.

The Lincolnshire case highlighted the plight of some of societies most vulnerable. Homelessness by it’s very nature makes it’s victims extremely vulnerable but when you couple that with learning difficulties, mental health issues, addiction issues or being a care leaver suddenly the vulnerability is magnified enormously. Where there are people who are so very vulnerable there will always be predators that seek them out and prey upon them. It is sad reflection on our society that we leave the most vulnerable among us to fall prey to such predators.

The Lincolnshire case was one that involved criminals it was not a cultural or ethnic issue.

I am Romany and I have been involved in advocacy and activism within the Gypsy and Traveller community for decades, a great part of our fight involves promoting a positive image of Gypsy and Traveller people, very often this involves challenging unfair or inaccurate media reporting and reporting the hate speech that often appears below online publication of such stories.

Until last month I could not envisage that possibly the most inflammatory and damaging comment on Gypsies and Travellers would not only hit the media with such force but that the media could quote the comment accurately and that this derogatory and sensational commentary would come from a Crown Court Judge during the sentencing of a convicted defendant in such a serious case.

In the process of sentencing one of the defendants Judge Timothy Spencer QC said;


“You claim that what went on at Drinsey was no different from what was going on at any Travellers camp around the country– that all Travellers had workers operating under similar circumstances – sadly I very much fear that you may be right about that “

This comment by Judge Spencer was widely reported. This was case was described as a ‘landmark case’ , the comment was made in open Court before a packed media gallery . Judges pay particular attention to what they say during sentencing, they must be clear and use words easily understood by the defendant. They must demonstrate that they have considered anything that has been said in mitigation. While it would be perfectly in order for Judge Spenser to mention what the defendant had said in relation to what he stated went on at other Travellers camps, it most certainly was not in order to expand on that himself by adding his completely unfounded opinion that he ‘very much feared’ that the defendant might be ‘right about that’.

In expressing this view Judge Spencer has demonstrated a willingness to extend guilt to others who were not before the Court, who had neither been charged with, or convicted of any crime at all.

This was indeed a landmark case attracting a huge amount of interest from the media, while we would argue that a Judge should choose his or her words wisely and with discretion in every single case before them, the need to do is magnified when they are aware that there will be a sizable amount of national and possibly international coverage. Those who read this comment in the newspaper or heard it on the evening news are possibly tomorrow’s jurors, or the neighbours who have a Gypsy or Traveller family seeking planning permission to live on a nearby piece of land. They might be a nurse, midwife Dr or Social worker who is asked to work with a Gypsy or Traveller family and visit them at home – the comments will impact on children who already struggle to access education at all and who suffer bullying when they do access it, they will impact on our already disproportionately high infant mortality rate and our life expectancy which is startlingly lower than the national average. It will impact on help for those among us who suffer with mental health, and if you haven’t picked up on the rhythm here, yes- we do have very high rates of mental ill-health which in turn means we have high rates of suicide.

Genuinely fearful of the impact this comment could have on Gypsy and Traveller families a complaint was lodged with MoJ – based on how swiftly the complaint was rejected it would appear that no actual investigation took place in relation to this. In dismissing the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office stated

“Rule 21(f) of the Judicial Conduct (Judicial and other office holders) Rules 2014 requires the JCIO to dismiss a complaint, or part of a complaint, that, even if true, would not require any disciplinary action to be taken”

And continued …

“As independent office holders, judges are entitled to express their opinions about the cases that come before them including any defence made during proceedings. While I note you found the judge’s statement about the Rooney family’s defence offensive and discriminatory towards Gypsies and Travellers, it is the judge’s role to decide which version of events is the more likely on the basis of what he or she has heard and seen. This is what HHJ Spencer did when he remarked in response to the defence”

The MoJ have dismissed the complaint by relying on the Judicial Conduct (and other office holders) Rules 2014, but they have failed to take into consideration legislation that exists to prevent discrimination against minority groups The Equality Act 2010 clearly states that any public body must “foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.” While we appreciate that Judges are not bound by this in their decision making, the comment made by Judge Spencer was not a decision or comment made in regard to the defendant being sentenced, nor was he merely drawing in what that defendant had said during the trial, he had transcended to include ALL Gypsies & Travellers stating “I very much fear you might be right about that” To our minds words and opinion that should not have been expressed at all let alone to do so using such strong and emotive words and phrases like “very much” and “fear”.

It is our contention that the MoJ failed to consider the Bangalore Principles. These are a set of Principles implemented by The United Nations Human Rights Commission that are internationally recognised to establish standards of ‘ethical conduct’. Here in UK those Principles have been adopted and as a result The Supreme Court produced a Guide for Judges in England and Wales. The Bangalore Principles consist of six Values, and they clearly establish what should be regarded as good and ethical practice that should enable all to feel confident that they would receive a fair hearing in our Courts, Those Values are, Judicial Independence. Impartiality, Integrity. Propriety. Ensuring Equality. Competence and Diligence.

If we consider the points relevant to the complaint against Judge Spencer, his comment certainly raises questions of impartiality and bias. How can a Judge who has been seen to make such a sweeping comment that bestowed upon an entire minority group a speculative assumption of likely guilt [of such a heinous crime ] be considered not to hold some tangible degree of bias? We feel it also calls into question his competence, as he appears to fail to differentiate between the actions of the defendant before him and all other people of the same ethnicity as that defendant.

Judge Spencer also had a duty to ensure equality so we should consider what the Bangalore Principles require in regard to Ensuring Equality;

A Judge must not discriminate against vulnerable groups.

A Judge must avoid Stereotyping -a Judge that reaches the correct decision but engages in stereotyping does so at the expense of the Judges impartiality (value 2).

A Judge shall not, in the performance of judicial duties, by words or conduct, manifest bias or prejudice towards any person or group in irrelevant grounds.

When making his comments Judge Spencer did discriminate, not against the defendant before him, but against Gypsy and Traveller people in general, and as already mentioned he did so before a packed press gallery. He said he was ‘fearful’ in relation to the activities he had no evidence of at all, he was engaged in presumption, and speculation and agreement with a convicted defendants allegation that these activities were supposedly carried out on any Traveller camp around the country.

His comment was an indulgence in stereotyping, it was irrelevant because the residents of any other Travellers camp were not on trial or convicted of any offence – yet by virtue of those comments and the fact they were heavily reported in the media we are all demonised we are all presumed ‘guilty by association’ – we have been stereotyped as a people who callously prey on the vulnerable, who engage them in enforced labour and who beat and abuse them while holding them captive.

Thank you Judge Spencer

Thank you from every child from our community who is bullied at school

Thank you from every family who will have to struggle even harder to find a place to live

Thank you from every family who cannot access health care


The comments made by Judge Spencer and the dismissal of our complaint serves to highlight the inequality suffered within the Criminal Justice system by Gypsies and Travellers who are more likely to be given custodial sentences for offences that might attract a community sentence for offenders from other groups.

Gypsies and Travellers spend longer in in prison because they are unable to engage in programs within prison that could lead to an early release, they are unable to do so because they often do not have the literacy skills to take part in such programs. This can be linked to lack of site provision and stopping places that prevent Gypsy and Traveller children having reasonable access to education. Gypsies and Travellers also report disproportionately high instances of bullying based on ethnicity while they serve custodial sentances.

While these comments have highlighted the inequality faced by Gypsies and Travellers within the Criminal Justice system, not only when they come before the courts, but while they are going about their daily lives, minding their own business, trying to live in peace and obtain work to support their families that inequality, that presumed guilt based on ethnicity can hit us. Our concern is not only based on Judge Spencer making those remarks, but on the fact that he felt it was acceptable to do so, if that in itself is not disturbing enough it is astounding given Equality Laws within UK and the values set out in the Bangalore Principles that the MoJ dismissed our complaint. © shay clipson 2017

Shay Clipson


National Alliance of Gypsy Traveller & Roma Women

Hate Crime against Gypsies & Traveller is “never Acceptable” says Humberside’s Police & Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter.

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 08.07.26

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 08.07.57

Hate Crime against Gypsies & Traveller is “never Acceptable” says Humberside’s Police & Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter.

On Friday 31st March 2017, National Alliance of Gypsy Traveller & Roma Women [ NAGTRW ] had a telephone conference with Humberside’s Police & Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter

We wished to raise the very pressing and worrying issue of Hate Speech that arises from online reporting of unauthorized Gypsy/Traveller encampments by various local newspapers, The nature and style of the reporting sadly encourages this, and equally sadly the newspapers responsible are very slow to moderate their online forums or social media pages.

The nature of many of the comments constitutes a criminal offence, and NAGTRW are keen to report and pursue those individuals whose posts contain threats or offensive racist slurs and insults.

NAGTRW are very pleased to report that PCC Keith Hunter shared our concern and as such has issued the attached press release.

Gypsies and Travellers are a minority people with ethnic status, we have been travelling the roads of UK for over 500 years, we have contributed to the UK economy and continue to do so via our Income Tax and National Insurance contributions, yet we get little back in return.

Hate crime has a very negative and damaging effect on Gypsy and Traveller, but particularly our children and young people – and we must all work towards building bridges between the Gypsy /Traveller and settled community.

I hope PCC Hunters Press Release will have a positive impact and make people think before they make hate filled or threatening posts.

We need site provision and suitable negotiated stopping places – so that we can continue to live our traditional and cultural way of life and do so without the conflict that arises due to lack of provision.

Shay Clipson


Every Funded Gypsy/Traveller Org in UK – HANG YOUR HEAD IN SHAME


Every FUNDED Gypsy & Traveller Org or Charity in UK- HANG YOUR HEADS IN SHAME
Today a young woman said goodbye to her little son for the last time a victim of FORCED ADOPTION. Two other innocent children are also living in the care system. I cannot name them because of a draconian gagging order imposed by the Family Court.
NAGTRW were doing our best for this lady last year, and now a wonderful lady not even from our communities is trying to fight for her.
NOT ONE MISERASBLE GYPSY /TRAVELLER ORG has stepped forward to offer assistance – yet many have very healthy coffers indeed and some have acquired their money because of work around Domestic Violence, and Domestic Violence can result in children being removed from their mother. So a woman endures and survives an abusive relationship – only to find that she is then faced with the ultimate and cruelest abuse of all – that her cherished children are taken, even though the abuser is long gone.
This lady’s children have been taken largely based on her ethnicity, I can vouch for that because I HAVE read the files, this is an innocent woman loosing the most precious and irreplaceable children.

Now you would think that with all the funding that is handed over to the many Organisations that exist to fight discrimination against our peoples that one of these richly funded Orgs would have stepped forward and offered to help – you couldn’t be more wrong.

This is the true and ugly face of discrimination that rips families apart and removes our children from their undesirable Gypsy Traveller Culture and either places them with some nice settled people, or worse still throws them into the failing care system to be abused.

Either way they lose kith and kin and also their culture, their cultural identity and sense of self.

This is what was done to the Native Americans and the Aboriginals – and we throw our hands up in horror, but nobody says a word when it is done today in UK to another Ethnic people, are we less? is our culture less? – does ethnic cleansing not count when it is imposed upon Gypsies and Travellers?

If society at large does not raise its voice, what of those Orgs who set themselves up to fight for our rights – who fill in funding bids to large funders like The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and the Big Lottery Fund – and tell of the noble fight for our rights – but if they keep taking our children we simply cease to be

I would like to offer some words to these Organisations, and there is no doubt that for casting such aspersions in public I shall be a pariah – but the fact is I do not care – not at all
Please be mindful that when you stage your conferences and seminars when you court and pander to the Lords and Baronesses and show boat yourselves in an effort to claw in even more loot – I will be ever watchful – waiting to tell the truth and shame the devil.

Please do not attempt a lecture on funding criteria and ring fenced funding – I was a Trustee with UKAGW for long enough – I know how it works – but I also know that where theres a willingness theres a way – This is by far more important than taking on a pub for not serving Travellers, however insulting that might be – you can get a few drinks elsewhere- but this poor lady cannot replace her children and her children cannot replace their lost family and siblings and culture.
NAGTRW is NOT funded – we never turn anyone away – not even the ones the big orgs send to us.
This lady is now at risk of being jailed tomorrow for fighting for her children – she still needs a Lawyer so an appeal can be launched to try one last ditch attempt to reunite her with her children.


NAGTRW can conform that following comments made by Jeremy Clarkson in regard to Gypsies a report has been made to Police urging them to investigate Clarkson for racist, anti Gypsy comments made on Amazon Primes “The Grand Tour”.

During the broadcast Clarkson said ” we are going to be like Gypsies only the cars we drive are going to be insured’.

NAGTRW request to Police states ,

“Mr Clarkson is fully aware that previous comments that he has made before he was fired from Top Gear have caused a great deal of offence to the Gypsy & Traveller Community – he appears hell bent of causing further offence and this comment is a deliberate act of doing just that. Mr Clarkson is using Amazon Prime as a means of delivering to the public comments that cause offence and alarm to the Gypsy & Traveller community. He is fully aware of what he is doing. Mr Clarkson seems to be motivated by a distain for Gypsy and Traveller and people and a determination to further his career and therefore make money from publicly ridiculing, vilifying and demonising Gypsy and Traveller people in the name of ‘entertainment’

The report continues ..

“Please do not fob this incident off as an ‘incident’ and not a crime – this commentry by clarkson has potential for great harm and he knows this – he even brags that he has more freedom regarding what he can get away with saying since he has moved online. The internet is a PUBLIC SPACE and while Amazon may well give him more leeway – this is still a deliberate verbal attack on Gypsy and Traveller people . We would urge Police and CPS to explore every avenue in regard to this man”




Lady Gypsy – Response from the National Alliance of Gypsy Traveller & Roma Women #LadyGypsy


During the last year I have heard racism and public displays of racism against Gypsies and Travellers passed off as ‘Banter” and now it seems that comedians some of whom find it acceptable to earn their laughs by insulting and ridiculing Gypsies and Travellers might have found themselves a passport word thanks to the sometimes controversial Ricky Gervais.

Ahead of the launch of his film life on the road which is due to be released on August 19th Ricky Gervais has a released a video of his song ‘Lady Gypsy”

[ #LadyGypsy ] While many are greeting it with delight this is not the case for UK’s Gypsies and Travellers who feel not only deeply insulted by the video and the words of the song but are also feeling a genuine fear based on bitter experience that this portrayal of a Gypsy women will impact so very badly on an already marginalized community.

The video shows Gervais’s alter-ego David Brent loosing his virginity after a chance encounter in the woods with a lady who was described as ‘a Traveller – but she was pretty – and clean”. As he is lain down in a patch of heather he questions if the woman is a hooker – she explains that she is not a hooker ‘the sex is free’ but a sprig of heather will cost him one pound.

Since tweeting Ricky Gervais to voice disgust a number of his Twitter followers have taken the time to contact me to kindly explain the niceties of satire, and have questioned my right to be insulted. It is possible they assume that as a Romany Gypsy woman I might not understand -but please rest assured that I really do understand satire,…and I’m still insulted.

Ricky Gervias himself responded to me stating,

“ You clearly haven’t seen the office or the new movie yet. Relax. He accidentally insults everyone” –

I can’t say that really made me feel a whole lot better.

While I admire Ricky Gervais stance on animal rights – I find it difficult to reconcile the work of a very clearly sensitive and caring individual when it comes to animal rights with the somewhat reckless portrayal of a Gypsy woman that will be seen by so many.

It takes very little research to become aware of the marginalization of Gypsy and Traveller people. Ricky Gervias cannot fail to know that our people are subjected to so much abuse; even if he himself could claim ignorance it would be difficult to accept that his advisers were also not aware.

The inclusion of the words ‘ she was pretty – and clean” clearly demonstrate that Gervais is indeed fully aware of the ‘dirty Gypsy’ stereotyping and is quite happy to quite literally cash in on that.

Many of Gervias Twitter followers have explained to me painstakingly that it is not Gervias himself that says these things – but Brent – because this is “satire” and that I am missing the point, in my apparent ignorance I would suggest that it is Gervias that is missing the point. Ricky Gervais uses his name and his access to a very large public platform to promote his stance on animal rights – he is absolutely aware of his ability to use that platform in a positive way – but with startling disregard he allows this same platform to be used in such a negative way with the release of this video and its inclusion in his new film.

Satire most certainly has its place in the Arts, it can and does play a very entertaining and often important role, most people have enjoyed political satire. I am not for one moment wanting to deny this, but by its very nature it can be a dangerous tool if used towards a particular group of people without discretion.

But if we accept the ‘satire’ argument lets take a moment or two to examine this;

There may well be those that view it with enlightened eyes and see the meaning within the satirical portrayal, although then we have to consider the lack of any yardstick or stabilizing element, There is no portrayal of the Gypsy lady or any other Gypsy within that shows the Brent character as getting anything wrong – Brent meets a pretty and clean Gypsy in the woods and she has sex with him. One of Gervais Twitter followers compared this video to the sitcom Rising Damp that was screened in the 1970’s. This outlines my argument quite well because while it was satirical – Rigsby’s suspicion of his black tenant Philip is balanced because Philip is intelligent and well spoken and well mannered. Till Death us do part showed the enormously racist Alf Garnet being viewed as a figure of contempt and ridicule by his own family – I am using these references as these are ones that have been thrown at me in the last few days – there are many more of course some more subtle – but there is always that element of balance when it comes to tackling racism in satire that is aimed at a wide audience.

This video will be seen by a wide audience and the probable majority will not be those clever enlightened and knowing folks who enjoy it’s supposedly underlying message. The audience will include that element in society that spread hatred against Gypsies and Travellers that frequent the online comments forums of local papers and add their racist venom beneath unbalanced newspaper articles. It will include those that suggest petrol bombing Gypsies and Travellers, shooting them on sight; it will include politicians that can casually state that Gypsies and Travellers should be executed. It will leave our young women vulnerable to sexual assault and verbal abuse.

Gypsies and Traveller have been identified as those who receive the most racial abuse on Twitter and nine out of Ten Gypsy and Traveller children report having suffered racial abuse and bullying. Children have suffered sever beating with one child being beaten to death – it simply does not get worse than that.

This Ricky Gervais is the reality, it might not be a reality that you have ever personally faced – but we have no choice but to face it – every single day.

So here it is – a new passport word to absolve inappropriate comedy sketches that racially deemed Gypsies and Travellers ‘Satire ‘ and if we are insulted if we object we will be classed as being unable to understand it’s complexities.

I would like to close with a quotation from David Levithan who wisely said;

 “If smart people are parodying it, that’s a sure sign that some less smart people are believing it’

And THAT Mr Gervais is why we are so offended.

Copyright NAGTRW 2016











Ministry of Defence Investigate ‘derogatory and racist’ Anti Gypsy Hate Speech by Army Personnel Following Complaint by NAGTRW – warning this post contains offensive content #antigypsyism

NAGTRW can confirm that the ministry of Defence has launched an investigation into what it described as ‘derogatory and racist’ comments that were posted on an ‘unofficial’ Army website.

NAGTRW had made a formal complaint about the commentary to Chief of General Staff General Sir Nick Carter on 4th April 2016. NAGTRW identified numerous highly offensive comments posted over a prolonged period of time. One comment read;


A letter from the Army Secretariat stated that the Chief of General Staff ‘shares your abhorrence at the hateful and upsetting commentary’, but goes on to explain that as the posts are contained on an external site they have no editorial control over it. The letter goes on to say – “nonetheless, as we are aware the site is used by both serving and former serving members, we will investigate whether any of the comments made can be linked to serving members and anybody still in service will be investigated. Appropriate action will be taken if they are deemed to have failed the service test, which measures whether the actions or behaviour of an individual have adversely impacted on the efficiency or operational effectiveness of the Army, as laid out in The Values and Standards of the British Army”


Brigadier John Donnelly, Head Army Personnel Support will write to the website asking them to take down the offensive content and Chief of General Staff went on to say “we would encourage reporting of any items which are deemed to be inciting racial hatred to the civilian police”

NAGTRW had urged the MOD to investigate this matter as it was felt that they were in a better position to identify and deal with those responsible.

NAGTRW are now in the process of drafting a report to the police