Letter: Town is a soft touch for travellers

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Yet again it is too frequent an occurrence to read in the local press about the “travellers” descending upon Dewsbury.

It would seem that our town and the surrounding areas are a soft touch for these people and we as a community football club have had our fair share of “visits” from them in the past so we shared the grief that Shaw Cross Boys Rugby Club endured a few weeks back with games and their facility disrupted for a week or so.

Only a month or so ago we had them encamped on Wakefield Road in front of our recently built clubhouse. The same clubhouse that volunteers had spent years fundraising for to benefit the members of our club. However when the police eventually attended and despite witnesses who saw the travellers break off the padlock they appeared to be more concerned about the club members parking on Wakefield Road and “aggravating” the situation by being their legitimately rather than removing the trespassers who had clearly committed an act of breaking and entry onto KMC land. The police seem to have given up on getting them off decent, law abiding tax payers land and just letting them reside for the week or so that it takes KMC to get legal action to remove them.

As a club we’ve invested heavily in pop up, security posts and a new heavy duty wooden fence along the length of the facility not to mention just installing many large boulders and a ditch just inside the fence all at considerable cost to what is a voluntary organisation. So we were delighted to read that the council are now considering spending money on securing these areas rather than on the legal fees and the ongoing clean-up operations so if this happens we could do with some more boulders at the bottom end of the fence near the children’s play area that was set up by KMC and if KMC are feeling generous some financial contribution towards the large amount of money our club has spent protecting this facility from the travellers to ensure that the local community can enjoy sport each and every week would be gratefully appreciated.

Finally the police should take a moment to remember that they are supposed to uphold the law against whoever breaks it from whatever background or community and that the members of the local, tax paying, community will only take these travellers incursions for so long while the police seem content just standing idly by watching events from a distance. The police should remove them in the first instance, charge them for criminal damage or tow away the vehicles and impound them rather than wait for the legal teams to get a court order in a week or so. The travellers all seem to have new cars and caravans so appear to have the money available to pay these fines, but we’d all have new vehicles if we didn’t pay any rent or taxes anywhere, wouldn’t we?

Graham Burton

Secretary

Dewsbury Ranger JFC