Gypsy and Traveller unauthorised encampments
Gypsies and Romany Gypsies have been part of our communities for hundreds of years, with Irish travellers having been here in the UK for over 150 years.
Similar to other minority groups, Gypsies and Travellers have their own language, traditions and customs that guide their way of life and which have passed down through generations.
All Gypsies and Travellers are protected from discrimination by the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998.
According to the 2011 census, there were 478 Gypsies and Irish Travellers in Central Bedfordshire, with 115 in Bedford Borough and 198 in Luton.
The National figure was 54,895 in England and 2,785 in Wales, although the estimate was between 150,000 and 300,000. Accurate data is very hard to gather without active engagement by councils with Gypsy and Traveller communities.
Central Bedfordshire has three current council-run Gypsies and Travellers sites, with a fourth one opening soon.
Central Bedfordshire does not have an Authorised Stopping place (Transit Site) or an agreed emergency stopping place. This has had the knock-on effect of unauthorised encampments setting up in the district, which has increased significantly over recent years.