The National Association of
Gypsies and Traveller Officers have held their first annual conference in Coventry.
Parliamentary under-Secretary Nick Raynsford was the guest speaker at the conference
held at Highfield Road and revealed the governments new good practice
guide on handling travellers.
The Department of Environment, Transport and Regions have devised a booklet advising
officers and landowners on how to best deal with unauthorised camping.
Coventry City Council Travellers Officer Steve Wilkinson said the day had been a great
"We had around 170 people there which was most encouraging. We had heard the
government were coming up with their good practice guide so we asked them to attend the
"There were delegates there from Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as across
There are currently four illegal camps in the city and one will be subject to court
action on Monday.
"The four are at Longford, Banner Lane, Humber Avenue and Blackburn Road. We are
going to court over the Longford Park car park site on Monday and will be asking the
travellers to move on by Wednesday. There are currently 14 vans there.
"We have had two or three families there for a while. They want to educate their
children in Coventry and are looking to buy land just outside the city. Historically their
families have moved around Coventry and between the city and Leicester.
"Once we find travellers on land we find the landowners and offer them advice and
show them the relevant procedures and it is up to them if they take it or not."