Tuesday, 13 September 2011

BBC News - Dale Farm: Man charged over insults at travellers

13 September 2011 Last updated at 14:12

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Dale Farm: Man charged over insults at travellers

A man has been charged over alleged racist insults made at travellers facing eviction from Dale Farm in Essex.

Anthony Balfour, 68, of Graham Park Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, was arrested when police at the site near Basildon heard abuse toward residents.

He has been charged with a racially aggravated public order offence.

Mr Balfour will appear before magistrates at a later date. A site clearance is set to begin next week.

It follows a decade-long row with Basildon Council over unauthorised properties on the former scrap yard.

Although half of the site is legal, more than 80 properties have no planning permission and about 400 people are said to be living there illegally.

Travellers and their supporters have promised to resist eviction without violence but police have begun preparations for major disorder.