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Volume 895: debated on Thursday 17 July 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he will consider making squatting a criminal offence in his forthcoming (review of the law relating to the subject;(2) when he expects the final report of the Law Commission on offences of entering and remaining on property; and whether, in view of the growth of the problems, he will urge the Law Commission to expedite this report;(3) whether he will consider giving powers to the police, home owners and local authorities to evict people found in occupation of residential premises without the owner's consent in his forthcoming review of the law relating to squatters.

I recognise the urgency of this matter and the strength of public concern over it. I should prefer not to consider amendments to the criminal law until the Law Commission's report on conspiracy, which will deal with offences of entering and remaining in property, is available. I believe that the Law Commission will have regard to the urgency of the problem in the preparation and completion of its report.