Government consults on new police powers over unauthorised encampments

The Home Secretary is consulting on giving the police new powers “to arrest and seize the property and vehicles of trespassers who set up unauthorised caravan sites”. The idea is to have something similar in our law to that used in the Republic of Ireland.

The Home Secretary said “The public want their communities protected and for the police to crack down o n trespassers. Our proposals aim to ensure encampments can be challenged and removed as quickly as possible”

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  1. Martin Plank
    Posted November 6, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I write on behalf of my Parish Council in support of all increases to the existing police powers relating to the removal of unauthorised encampments. During the summer of this year the village playing fields were occupied by a family of travellers, who had entered onto the site as a result of a broken padlock (how & by whom was a mystery to all!!!) to a gate used for lawn mowing and maintenance access.
    The consequence was that there was an understandable reluctance by villagers to use the playing fields, until the travellers eventually, after a few broken promises, moved on.
    Unfortunately they left behind considerable rubbish, including a truck full of debris which they were photographed dumping on the land, which has cost the council to have removed.
    As a further deterrent to future unauthorised use the Council has organised for ditches to be dug surrounding the fields and greater security to be applied to the gate. None of this would of course be necessary if the Police have far more powers to remove the trespassers.

  2. Graham Wheatley
    Posted November 6, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink


    I would suggest the following:-

    That local authority / Police post notices at the illegal campsite, that the Police will be attending at 07:00hrs the following morning, in order to check V5Cs, MOTs, drivers’ licences and insurance documents.

    If vehicles are found to be unlicenced, out of MOT or without valid insurance, then those vehicles will be impounded until the relevent certification is validated and any fines paid.

    If not done so within the period specified in law, then those vehicles will be either auctioned or crushed.

    My feeling is that the the illegal campers will have moved-on and the site would be empty (apart from the trash that they will inevitably leave behind) by 06:55hrs.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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