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Unauthorised Encampments

Volume 689: debated on Monday 8 February 2021

We will bring forward legislation this Session to give the police the powers they need to tackle unauthorised encampments by moving people on and seizing vehicles where necessary. Intentional trespass will become a criminal offence, and we will broaden the range of harms that can be considered by the police when directing trespassers away from land.

The Home Secretary will know that I wrote to her back in June regarding unauthorised encampments. I thank her for her response. Although the majority of Travellers stay on authorised sites, a disproportionate amount of council and police time is spent dealing with the effects of unauthorised encampments. Does the Minister agree that communities such as mine in Wrexham need more protection against trespass on sites where there is no right of access?

My hon. Friend has hit the nail on the head in standing up for her constituents on this issue. People want to see greater protection for local communities, and for the police to be given enhanced powers to crack down on trespassers. That is why we consulted on how we might strengthen police powers and why we will introduce legislation in this Session. We will act on these concerns, and I very much look forward to working with my hon. Friend in so doing.