Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre would like to offer our sympathy to the 18 people – victims of forced labour by 11 members of the Rooney family in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and London, as reported last week.

As a human rights organisation, we condemn anyone who exploits and abuses people in the way described during this court case and welcome the fact that the perpetrators were brought to justice.

The treatment of the victims of this case was appalling and an example of how human beings prey on vulnerability and marginalisation of others.

It is regrettable that the Traveller community at large will be blamed for these acts due to the identification of the family, in the media, as a Traveller family.

As we have stated in the past, cruelty and criminality is not something that is exclusive to any one ethnic group – but rather something that, regrettably, exists among all ethnic groups.