Gypsies & Travellers
'Gypsies and Travellers' is an umbrella term which encompasses a very diverse range of people who either have a nomadic heritage or a nomadic or semi nomadic lifestyle.
There are estimated to be around 5,000 Gypsies and Travellers living in Devon; the largest group is Romany Gypsies and the second largest is New Travellers. There are also Irish Travellers, Roma and Showmen.
Some Gypsies and Travellers live in caravans or other forms of mobile accommodation and some in bricks and mortar. Some travel for part of the year and others are completely settled. There are 3 Council run sites; one in Exeter, one in East Devon and one in Plymouth. In addition there are many small, private, family-owned sites across the county. There are also Gypsies and Travellers living on unauthorised sites in the county; some of these sites are temporary and others are more permanent.
National studies have shown that:
The health status of Gypsies and Travellers is "much poorer than that of the general population and other marginalised groups" (Communities & Local Government 2012)
Nearly 9 out of every 10 children and young people from a Gypsy background have suffered racial abuse and nearly two thirds have also been bullied or physically attacked. (Children's Society)
Gypsy/Traveller children are 'the most at risk' in the education system. Gypsy/Traveller children have the lowest attainment of all Minority Ethnic groups in English schools. (Ofsted)
It is estimated that nationally 25%of Gypsies and Travellers are homeless and have nowhere to legally park their living accommodation.
In a 2003 MORI poll 14 million people expressed prejudice against Gypsies and Travellers compared to 7.2 million who expressed prejudice towards ethnic minorities generally. (Stonewall 2003)