Battle zone at Kirkcaldy whippet event

editorial image

LAWS must be changed so authorities can stop ‘pussy-footing’ around law-breaking gypsy travellers, Kirkcaldy’s MSP has said.

David Torrance MSP hit out after a show case whippet derby in the town was abandoned in fear after feuding travellers tore through the site.

What was billed to be one of the biggest racing events in the UK was left a shambles when around 10 caravans came hurtling into the fields, some through trees, and cars began speeding up and down the football pitches, scaring parents who had children nearby. The event had just 10 finals to go when the caravans arrived.

Arthur Cook, Kirkcaldy club secretary, said: “We had people travelling from across Britain and Ireland who ended up packing up early and going home because they felt intimidated.

“We had to completely cancel our presentation night - we ended up with just 20 people instead of 120, and that was disappointing for us and for our sponsors.”

Mr Torrance was called by Mr Cook when trouble started flaring on the site, and police had no powers to move the travellers on. He told the Press: “This is the primary event in Scotland, and it brings in a lot of revenue for Kirkcaldy, but these people had no consideration for anybody on that site.

“Police need to get the power to evict these people when they disrupt a community event. Visitors were intimidated by people who have no respect for people or property.”

Fife Council said it will not tolerate large encampments and legal action will be taken if they are on Council land.