Contact: Grattan Puxon 01206 523528
The UK’s most notorious anti-Gypsy security
firm, responsible for the brutal Twin Oaks
eviction in 2004, says it expects to take on the
biggest clearance operation ever mounted
against a village community in Britain in
Constant & Co., which has earned tens of
millions of euro clearing Gypsies from their
own land in barely legal, hard hat-style sorties
around England, now wants the contract to
demolish Dale Farm, home to 500 Travellers
near Crays Hill, Essex.
The job, worth three million euro, would
involve removing, and in some plots smashing,
chalets and mobile-homes, and physically
forcing up to 90 families, including children,
the elderly and infirm, to leave the district,
impoverished and with nowhere legally to
Along with their homes and children’s
primary school, the families stand to lose
their unique youth-club community centre and
Saint Christopher’s Chapel.
“This is ethnic-cleansing,” said one
voluntary worker who visits Dale Farm. “But
the council are trying to disguise that fact
with a lot of politically correct language.”
Because of the high cost of the work,
Basildon have been compelled to put it
out to tender in the official Journal of the
European Union. The closing date for
bids is mid-August.
In its ad the council states that the
winner bidder must ‘demonstrate a
commitment to upholding the principles
of equality and diversity legislation and
be sensitive and responsive to the
needs of people.’
However, Basildon has already
indicated it favours re-engagement
of Constant, a firm the council has already
employed for a number of small evictions.
Critics say these were conducted in a way
that flaunted EU health and safety regulations,
and resulted in the needless trashing of huge
quantities of private belongings
*/Valuable Crown Derby china and other/*
*/itms have gone missing during/*
*/some clearances/*/. /
Photographs illustrate how at Hovefields
no perimeter fencing was erected and
children were allowed in close proximity
when heavy machinery was in motion.
While the council justified its use of
s178 of the Town and Country
Planning Act to restore Greenbelt, land
at Hovefields has been left derelict.
Top-soil has been destroyed and the plots
surrounded by high earth berms.
Much of the ground is now flooded
with contaminated water from
broken cess-tanks, posing a danger
to health for children and adults who
continue to live nearby while awaiting
further Constant incursions.
CARAVANS ON FIRE
A film produced for Dale Farm
Housing Association shows caravans
on fire as bailiffs manhandle screaming
children. One plant-hire company has
discontinued renting to Constant,
branding its approach brutal.
Referring to the Twin Oaks eviction,
Justice Collins said in the High Court that
having seen a video of Constant at
work he considered the bailiffs’ conduct
unacceptable as it inevitably led to
harm to those affected.
“The council must re-consider the use of
this firm,” stated Justice Collins. He also
noted that the police had failed to curb the
excesses of Constant bailiffs.
Collins added that in cases of
serious ill-health or needs of children,
eviction would be disproportionate.
Although the right to evict has since been
upheld the conditions he attached
were adopted in a complex Court of
Appeal ruling earlier this year.
Requested under the Freedom of
Information Act to provide copies of its
obligatory Risk Assessment reports for
the Hovefields and Dale Farm evictions,
Basildon has admitted that no such
surveys have been carried out.
Jean Sheridan, a Dale Farm mother
of triplets, is fearful of the trauma bailiffs
could cause her babes. She hopes that
before Constant is ordered in she will be
able to mount a case in the European Court
of Human Rights.
“We have nowhere else to go and
my babes need medical help,” Jean
says. “They were born prematurely and
lucky to live. How will they survive the
terrors Constant will bring?”
The UK Children’s Commissioner has
asked Basildon what it intends to do to
safeguard children during demolition
and what alternate accommodation is
being offered them. No satisfactory
answer has yet been received.