The government has launched a consultation on proposals to give police new powers to arrest and seize the property and vehicles of trespassers who set up unauthorised caravan sites.
The Home Office is consulting on measures to criminalise the act of trespassing when setting up an unauthorised encampment in England and Wales. It is also consulting on an alternative approach to the issue:
- Amending s62A of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (CJPO 1994) to permit the police to direct trespassers to suitable authorised sites located in neighbouring local authority areas.
- Amending s61 and 62A of the CJPO 1994 to increase the period of time in which trespassers directed from land would be unable to return from 3 months to 12 months.
- Amending s61 of the CJPO 1994 to lower the number of vehicles needing to be involved in an unauthorised encampment before police powers can be exercised from 6 to 2 or more vehicles.
- Amending s61 of the CJPO 1994 to enable the police to remove trespassers from land that forms part of the highway.
This proposal was also set out in the 2019 Conservative Party General Election manifesto as follows:
“We will tackle unauthorised traveller camps. We will give the police new powers to arrest and seize the property and vehicles of trespassers who set up unauthorised encampments, in order to protect our communities. We will make intentional trespass a criminal offence, and we will also give councils greater powers within the planning system."
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