Make deliberate trespass a criminal offence to tackle illegal encampments, Conservative MPs tell Government

Dame Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden, has joined 31 Conservative MPs calling on the Government to adopt the so-called ‘Irish Option’ to tackle the problems communities face as a result of unauthorised/illegal (traveller) encampments and developments.

In a letter to the Communicates Secretary, James Brokenshire, which the Meriden MP co-signed, MPs called on the Government to encourage local authorities to consider whether establishing a transit site in the locality would provide an effective possible solution but also make acts of deliberate trespass a criminal offence across England and Wales.

This, they say, would allow the police and local authorities to provide ‘timely methods of dealing with unauthorised encampments on private or public land, in contrast to the current powers which are either very limited in scope or require time consuming recourse to the courts’.

The letter, which is supported by MPs including former Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, in addition to local MPs Mark Pawsey (Rugby) and Michael Fabricant (Lichfield).

Dame Caroline said that: “Although Transit sites do not necessarily provide a definitive solution, it should be up to each local authority to decide whether or not they would serve as an effective solution in different communities”.

“Here in Solihull Borough, it is clear that resident’s want to see a change in the law”.