The Ministry of Justice is to make squatting in residential properties a criminal offence following a campaign by Mike Freer and two other Conservative MPs.
The Government today published their response to a consultation on the issue. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, will now be amended so that squatting in residential properties moves from being a civil offence to a criminal one. The current law makes it very difficult for the police to intervene and forces families who find their home occupied by strangers to go through a lengthy court process to evict squatters.
Speaking fromWestminster, Mike Freer MP said, “I am extremely pleased that the Government has listened to the thousands of victims of this crime and will change the law so it comes down firmly on the side of hard working taxpayers.
No longer will the police have to stand by powerless as homeowners see their properties occupied and no longer will families have to spend thousands on a lengthy legal process just to get their own homes back. I applaud the Government’s decision and look forward to voting for the amendment in the Commons.”