Thursday, 12 March 2020

Campaign response – Criminalise Trespass

I am grateful to constituents who have recently emailed me to express their concerns over the government’s plans to criminalise unauthorised encampments, which includes a proposal to criminalise trespassing.

The emails began by asking if I would consider debating the matter. I would like to first remind constituents that it is not down to me but the Government and the Leader of the House to set aside time for debates and legislations.

I am afraid that claim that “there is no need to do this, as people already respect people's property”, is clearly misguided.

Trespassing and unauthorised encampments on private property or land have caused misery to many in Cornwall and the SW, with increasing reports of damage to property, noise, abuse and littering in recent years.

The public want to see their communities protected and for the police to crack down effectively on trespassers.

The Government’s proposals aim to ensure these encampments can be challenged and removed as quickly as possible.

A consultation ran from 5 November to 4 March on the Government’s website, inviting constituents and other concerned groups to give their opinion.

The consultation has now closed and the Government will be publishing the results and its response soon.

Law and order is rightly a focus of this Government, which was re-elected in December with a strong majority to carry out this mandate.

We will continue to have mechanisms via the courts and important institutions like the ECHR which we are signed up to, to challenge any infringement on human rights.

But ultimately I believe what most constituents want to see is for anti-social, disruptive and illegal behaviour dealt with more effectively. And this Government is getting on with that task.