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Volume 526: debated on Tuesday 29 March 2011

The Government take this issue very seriously and are therefore exploring options for strengthening the existing legal framework and its enforcement. We hope to be in a position to announce our plans soon. In the meantime, we have published guidance for home owners about the steps they can take to regain possession of their properties.

I thank the Minister for his reply. In my constituency of Hove and Portslade we are often plagued by serial squatters, who cost the city and taxpayers many tens of thousands of pounds. Will the Minister confirm that the proposals he is considering will be a sufficient deterrent to these well-organised squatters?

Penalties are one of the many issues we are looking at. I am pleased to say that my hon. Friend and I will have the opportunity to address them more fully tomorrow in Westminster Hall.