The lack of site provision and the barriers they encounter in trying to set up their own have left many Gypsies and Travellers without the basic right to accommodation. Local authorities have a duty to ensure adequate accommodation provision for all, including Gypsies and Travellers whether that is the development of local authority run sites or granting planning permission to families who have purchased appropriate land for site development.

Gypsies and Travellers who are effectively ‘homeless’, due to not having a pitch on a site to park their trailers on, have no choice but to pull up on land that may not always be appropriate. People also set up temporary camps for other reasons such as having to access medical or welfare services, repairing vehicles, or just resting whilst on the road to the next place. Usually, family groups stay for a few days then move on.

If they camp on other people’s land, private owners, local authorities and the police have a range of different powers to move them on.