Skip to main content

Trespassing: Agricultural Land

Volume 496: debated on Tuesday 1 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prosecutions for trespass on agricultural land (a) resulted and (b) did not result in a conviction in the last three years. (286254)

Offences related to “trespass on agricultural land” are covered by sections 61, 63, 68, and 70 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts in England and Wales for these offences under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 are shown in the table.

It should be noted that offences under the aforementioned statute and appropriate sections are not solely for “trespass on agricultural land”.

The found guilty column may exceed those proceeded against, as it may be the case that the proceedings in the magistrates court took place in the preceding year and they were found guilty at the Crown court in the following year, or the defendants were found guilty of a different offence to the original offence proceeded against.

These data are on the principal offence basis. The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Court proceedings data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.

Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 Sections 61, 63, 68, and 70, in England and Wales, 2003 to 20071,2,3

Proceeded against

Found guilty

Statute

Offence description

2005

2006

2007

2005

2006

2007

Public Order Act 1986 Part II S.14B(3) as added by Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 S.70

Inciting another to take part in a prohibited trespassory assembly

1

1

0

0

0

1

Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 S.61

Failing to leave land when directed or to return as a trespasser within three months

1

3

2

0

2

2

Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 S.63

Failing to leave land when directed or returning within 7 days of the direction (raves)

0

1

13

0

1

9

Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 S.68

Disrupting or obstructing a lawful activity or seeking to intimidate

60

36

87

39

26

69

Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 S.63 (7A) and (7B) as added by Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 S.58

Committing an offence knowing that a direction under S.63(2) applies and making preparations for or attending a gathering (rave) within 24 hours starting when the direction was given

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

62

41

102

39

29

81

1 The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

3 The found guilty column may exceed those proceeded against, as it may be the case that the proceedings in the magistrates court took place in the preceding year and they were found guilty at the Crown court in the following year, or the defendants were found guilty for a different offence to the original offence proceeded against.

Source:

Evidence and Analysis Unit—Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Ministry of Justice