Members of the public have reported Dorset Echo to the Press Complaints Commission and some are seriously considering making formal complaints to the police following their article on Gypsy Travellers.

The outrage followed an article on the 31st May in which a stereotype was used to lay the blame for individual behaviours on a whole group. This represents a violation and could be constituted a race hate crime.

For a race hate crime to be deemed to have taken place, reference has to be made to a group when blaming for behaviour that can only be apportioned to part. ‘Gypsies and Travellers’ are covered by the legal guidelines. This includes actions that can provoke others, for example, online abuse.

As we know there are many people who are susceptible to hate and anger aimed at minority groups and this is fuelled by the corporate media and their owners who often go searching for site traffic by taking advantage of bigotry and prejudice in their readership.

Thankfully though many people have responded by openly criticising the Echo’s stance.

Just some of the many critical responses:

‘Way to go Dorset Echo. Spreading the hate. As if there wasn’t enough prejudice around here already.’

‘Some good old fashioned racism from the Dorset echo is it?’

‘Important to remember where intolerance can lead. There is bad behaviour in all groups, loads of litter and  left by tourists in Dorset beaches (but also by locals).Tackle the behaviour – not some group of people who will, like us all, be a mix of characters.’

‘What a pathetic racist little article. They felt ‘threatened’ by being asked for water? ‘Holday pitch where the caravan club have been setting up camp for years’, replace that with ‘traveller pitch where travellers have turned up for years’ and you might have a solution.’

‘More unwarrented hatred towards families that struggle because of ignorant and privilidged being manipulated by right media spreading hate. These discrimminated people are living an traditional way of life. The earth was not made to be owned by privilidged and greedy. Land stolen by church and state a long time ago and passed down through inheritence. Still life gets harder as Priti Patel brings laws to make anyone travelling a criminal. respect breeds respect. Hatred does not bring anything good. The history of roma and irish travellers is full of it. Stop the hate and ignorance and provide sites rather than selling of public land to private investers.councils are serving themselves.’

‘The return of people with a racist viewpoint is not what I want in Dorset. Every community has good and not so good members, regardless of which community they are. This is a given. Racism against our local community is not acceptable or wanted, so indeed, maybe they should choose somewhere else to holiday.’

‘It’s because of reports like this that so many People think it’s acceptable to talk about gypsies/travellers this way, they are human like the rest of us they are not all bad ATALL!! Just like none gypsie/traveller people you will always get some good, some bad! People think it’s ok to talk about them like they are somehow different to the rest of just because of the way they live their lives, it’s disgusting and needs to stop, it’s racist!!’

And thankfully there are many many more either complaining about the Dorset Echo content or correcting it.

Just when people lose hope members of the public pull them up and remind them that the bigots are the minority.

Others who also want to make a complaint can do so via:

Press Complaints Commission:


Don’t let the bigots win. Challenge them at every opportunity.

For those interested in facts:

Douglas James


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