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tories to criminalise trespass

piglet's uncle | 25.02.2010 01:24 | Free Spaces | Repression | Social Struggles

worrying but not unsurprising little horror from their own website. this is likely to be used as a catch-all for just about every form of trespass ever used.

"Create a new criminal offence of intentional trespass. Trespassers who refuse to move after being asked to do so by a uniformed police officer will face arrest. This will allow both squatters and travellers occupying property without permission of the landowner to be removed quickly."

piglet's uncle
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The Mist Begins To Clear

25.02.2010 02:30

Yup... over centuries they have methodically taken the land from the people using every dishonest device including trickery, lies, theft and violence and now they are increasingly taking away what little access we still have to the land by making every move outside the town and city prison ghettoes a criminal act.

It becomes ever more clear who the 'police' are really working for and it definitely is not the people of this country. Time to start rolling up our sleeves methinks... the time for intellectual chit-chat is just about done.

The oligarchs masonic pyramid system of control and oppression must be smashed!!!



25.02.2010 08:19

the police very often will believe whatever they are told by a hunt, a corporation etc. Even if an activist is not trespassing but on public land or even land belonging to them or freind or family there will be a potential for arrest, court, bail conditions etc.
Aggravated trespass is always an issue if activists are stopping environmental carnage for example. I have been told on many occassions after being arrested for it that I have interfered with a legal activity as security guards have had to get off their bums (the legal activity or inactivity) and come and say hello. Aggravated trespass or section 68 and 69 of the Criminal Justice Act 1994 has never to my knowledge been used to protect the weak. For example an elderly persons legal activity of sitting quietly in the garden might be disrupted by someone trespassing and taunting them. Panarama just did a very interesting programme which highlighted the harassment of disabled folk, funny enough the police were "powerless" to do anything although I could think of several laws they could use but could not be arsed to including the CJA and the Protection from Harassment Act.
This proposed law will only be used as a tool to curb dissent, after all hunts regularily trespass whilst illegally hunting wild mammals and the police do absolutely nothing. Try and film it and you risk arrest.

Lynn Sawyer

aggravated trespass already illegal

25.02.2010 11:28

already criminal if you refuse to move and you are doing something else like protesting, sabbing etc but does not apply to squatters taking possession of land to live on.

the question is will this new law criminalise squatting-which still requires a civil court hearing before repossesion eviction and and possible arrests can happen

sounds like tories are seeking to empower police to arrest on suspicion of trespass (not even aggravated by the other factor needed in ag tres) which would bypass the court eviction process. landowner would not have to prove right to land to a court-

there ends squatters rights which go back to the norman conquest.


correction, i meant to write

25.02.2010 12:03

"worrying but not unsurprising little horror from their own website. this is likely to be used as a catch-all for just about every form of PROTEST ever used."

one thing that has occurred to me is that every postal worker etc INTENDS to commit trespass hundreds of time a day so they'll certainly need to word the law more carefully than that simple knee-jerking statement does.

piglet's uncle


25.02.2010 13:44

It all seems a little unworkable to me. Police have got better things to do than chase down every hippy squatter, homeless person and traveller in the land. Admittedly it would be easy for them to criminalise Gypsies, (which itsself opens up some interesting human rights issues) but if they keep their heads and organise well, squatters have little to fear and may even have unlikely allies high up in the Plod, who do not want to spend their entire lives policing property disputes. I've seen it myself, coppers don't want to have to arrest tons of people and haul all their stuff away if they can avoid it as it creates a tremendous strain on already slim resources.

Also there are huge issues as this is currently a part of civil law, look at the trouble they had with the CJA. I doubt they will be dumb enough to give themselves another huge headache of these proportions, as this form of repression invariably mobilizes resistance and could conceivably create massive opposition to the police.

Headline: Chillax, they always do this, but do get ready to firmly oppose it if they're ever stupid enough to actually try it.



25.02.2010 21:15

To be clear, the current offence of aggravated trespass, is civil trespass where you are disrupting legal activity, thus making it criminal. This came in in the 90s as the Criminal Justice Act, along with anti-traveller and free party clauses.

The new law would further criminalise people squatting or protesting, with a traveller lifestyle etc.

Unfortunately I don't share the sense of safety of others that it won't be used by the police, that it's unworkable or that there'll be the same opposition as with the CJA. Unfortunately.

legal eagle

they'll try very hard to make it workable alright

26.02.2010 00:21

ex-squatter the police would absolutely love the power this proposed law would give them. their little corkscrew cocks are getting all stiff just thinking about it. for instance, climate camp - every single person attending such a protest in future would automatically be a criminal so even the respactable locals could be arrested just for visiting out of curiousity. this would marginalise protesters even more from normal society and make ordinary people even more scared about getting involved in any kind of protesting.

"it creates a tremendous strain on already slim [police] resources."
just what country are you living in to say this? wake up! at the climate camp at kingsnorth, kent police willingly spunked away nearly 6 million of taxpayers money doing their utmost to prevent a legitimate protest by using highly intimidatory stop and searches and dawn raids on sleeping campers. that's not the action of an organisation lacking resources. and haven't you ever watched someone being caught shoplifting something trivial from a large shop? within minutes there will be at least two cop vehicles there with half a dozen cops and sirens blaring. but when a little old lady's council flat gets burgled that's when the cops will claim they don't have the resources to investigate even though her life may be wrecked by such an incident and tesco is hardly likely to be left reeling by the loss of the profit from a chocolate bar. for public order situations or protecting corporate profits, the cops always have the resources to pull out all the stops. sorry but for a squatter you seem incredibly unobservant about the way the law protects the few.

piglet's uncle

Re: unworkable

27.02.2010 18:25

The police help landlords illegally evict often enough anyway, especially after a mass mobilisation. I'm sure they'd love the extra power.