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Alan de Enfield

I wonder if this will be applied to the waterways ?

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Presumably boats on the waterways 'without permission' (licence) could be considered to be trespassing, will this new Government proposal affect them ?

 

It is from the Government's own website

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-consults-on-new-police-powers-to-criminalise-unauthorised-encampments

 

Government consults on new police powers to criminalise unauthorised encampments

Proposals include powers to arrest and seize the property and vehicles of trespassers.

The government will launch a consultation on proposals to give police new powers to arrest and seize the property and vehicles of trespassers who set up unauthorised caravan sites.

Currently such trespassing is defined in law as a civil matter. But the Home Office is consulting on making it a criminal offence.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

Unauthorised encampments can cause misery to those who live nearby, with reports of damage to property, noise, abuse and littering.

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

Our proposals aim to ensure these encampments can be challenged and removed as quickly as possible.

This follows a Home Office review into how trespassing while setting up an unauthorised encampment could be made a criminal offence in England and Wales, learning lessons from other countries like the Republic of Ireland.

As a result, the Home Office is proposing to broaden the categories of criminal trespass to cover trespassers who enter onto any land without permission of the occupier with the intention to reside.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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The problem, as I see it, is where are all these people going to go. Apparently there are 38000 people living on britain's waterways. How many are doing that illegally I have no idea. It's all very well saying that that is not CRT's problem BUT CRT must be a responsible organisation and just cannot boot, how ever many illegals there are, off the waterways to live on the streets. Councils do not want the problem and it is much easier to just let it go, at least for the time being.

 

Oh and I am no advocate of freeloaders. I pay my licence and everything else and I do see these people getting something for nothing that I and lots of others have to pay for. But I can see that The Canal and River Trust are stuck between a rock and a hard place to an extent.   

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1 minute ago, pete.i said:

The problem, as I see it, is where are all these people going to go

They do not need to "go" anywhere, as long as they buy their licence.

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10 minutes ago, pete.i said:

 Councils do not want the problem and it is much easier to just let it go, at least for the time being.

Councils may not want the problem but is it right that they abrogate their responsibilities for housing and force other organisations e.g. CRT to take them on?

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So now trespassers WILL be prosecuted. Need to be careful of the local landowners shotguns and mantraps. That'll put us back in our place. Perhaps protecting wealthy landowners is an unintended consequence ?

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If they do have a licence they are there with the landowners (CRT) permission, so no need for any new law to be used.  If they don't have a licence CRT already have, and have used, a remedy in Section 8.  No need for any new law to be applied.  The difference is that Section 8 takes the boat, potentially leaving someone homeless, hence CRT has a series of hoops to jump through to make sure they are seen as being fair, and backed up by a court.  If I read the idea of the new law right it will enable a group of travellers to be moved on more quickly, to a different bit of land owned by someone else.  That won't be much use to CRT. If the travellers did not have road tax or insurance, say, the police already have laws to deal with that, just like CRT has for no licence.

 

N

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19 minutes ago, pete.i said:

Apparently there are 38000 people living on britain's waterways.

Where does that figure come from?

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10 minutes ago, BEngo said:

If they do have a licence they are there with the landowners (CRT) permission, so no need for any new law to be used.  If they don't have a licence CRT already have, and have used, a remedy in Section 8.  No need for any new law to be applied.  The difference is that Section 8 takes the boat, potentially leaving someone homeless, hence CRT has a series of hoops to jump through to make sure they are seen as being fair, and backed up by a court.  If I read the idea of the new law right it will enable a group of travellers to be moved on more quickly, to a different bit of land owned by someone else.  That won't be much use to CRT. If the travellers did not have road tax or insurance, say, the police already have laws to deal with that, just like CRT has for no licence.

 

N

The 'problem' for C&RT is that it can take years +lawyers + costs of court + lifting and moving the boat etc etc. before they can complete a Section 8 and after incurring the costs they will be unlikely to recover those costs, the owner will just walk away.

If the new proposal comes into force it would seem to be that they just phone the Police, say "we have trespassers committing a criminal offence please move them".

 

I'm sure C&RT would see it as a benefit for cost and time saving if nothing else.

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36 minutes ago, Bee said:

So now trespassers WILL be prosecuted. Need to be careful of the local landowners shotguns and mantraps. That'll put us back in our place. Perhaps protecting wealthy landowners is an unintended consequence ?

Hmmm?

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41 minutes ago, Bee said:

 Perhaps protecting wealthy landowners is an unintended consequence ?

Hmmm?

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1 hour ago, pete.i said:

Apparently there are 38000 people living on britain's waterways. 

 

That's an "interesting" number, but you don't give a source.  Where are you taking it from, please?

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38,000 Cor! that's about the population of Accrington. Anybody been there lately? is anybody there?

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This is something that I wholeheartedly disagree with. Making trespass a criminal offence is terrible news. Our right to walk on most of England / Wales is already heavily restricted, to make venturing off the footpaths a criminal offence is a terrible turn for the worse.

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6 minutes ago, sirweste said:

This is something that I wholeheartedly disagree with. Making trespass a criminal offence is terrible news. Our right to walk on most of England / Wales is already heavily restricted, to make venturing off the footpaths a criminal offence is a terrible turn for the worse.

This is addressing trespass with an intention to reside, and is aimed at preventing traveller encampments, and should not affect walkers. That said it will potentially impact on wild campers and homeless people pitching tents in out-of-the way spots. 

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10 minutes ago, sirweste said:

to make venturing off the footpaths a criminal offence is a terrible turn for the worse.

It would be if that’s what it said. But it doesn’t, so it isn’t. 

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2 hours ago, Athy said:

They do not need to "go" anywhere, as long as they buy their licence.

Buying a licence only allows you to keep your vessel on CRT waters, it does not necessarily allow you to reside there.

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2 minutes ago, matty40s said:

Buying a licence only allows you to keep your vessel on CRT waters, it does not necessarily allow you to reside there.

Surely the CRT licence doesn't distinguish between liveaboards and others. What is does distinguish between is those with and without a home mooring, but there are liveaboards and non-liveaboards in both categories.

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3 minutes ago, David Mack said:

This is addressing trespass with an intention to reside, and is aimed at preventing traveller encampments, and should not affect walkers. That said it will potentially impact on wild campers and homeless people pitching tents in out-of-the way spots. 

The latter could be addressed by restricting it to those using "vehicles" - which may or may not encompass boats, defining on how it is defined.

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What I see around my stretch of canal there seem to be three categories of people potentially impacted

1) licence holding but CC-rule-stretching types  - given how non-specific the CC-ing rules are (and how good people are at 'unavoidably breaking down/having a medical emergency etc') I'm not sure this will address that. These are primarily people who could either live in a flat or abide by the rules with a little more effort but are great at 'working the system'. And they are 'up in arms' about rights to protest etc and so forth (a few of them do go on protest camps every so often). They often have access to legal teams

2) people who probably don't/can't read the news on this and have a shambles of a boat, often without heating, possibly borrowed from a friend/slum lord, as they aren't able to operate in a sufficiently co-operative fashion to access social housing or are in the middle of asylum claim / have pets etc and so forth and so are in some way ineligible - if we criminalise these people, without offering any support they can access, it isn't clear to me what we achieve - more people sleeping rough?

3) those already sleeping rough on the tow path, sometimes in tents. People do not, in the very, very vast majority of cases, seem to do this as a lifestyle choice. The brief phase of economic migrants doing this seems to be largely over (near me). It is more a question of people who, for whatever reasons cannot access the help they need. Or perhaps that help is simply not available at all. Again, it is unclear what criminalisation does here. We're already talking about people living in desperate and dangerous circumstances. Anything which makes it harder for them to access the institutions who could possibly help them will almost certainly shorten life spans. And waste public money on prosecutions to achieve...?

 

Appreciate there are non-towpath (and non-where I walk the mutts bits of towpath) with very different situations

 

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1 hour ago, TheMenagerieAfloat said:

What I see around my stretch of canal there seem to be three categories of people potentially impacted

1) licence holding but CC-rule-stretching types  - given how non-specific the CC-ing rules are (and how good people are at 'unavoidably breaking down/having a medical emergency etc') I'm not sure this will address that. These are primarily people who could either live in a flat or abide by the rules with a little more effort but are great at 'working the system'. And they are 'up in arms' about rights to protest etc and so forth (a few of them do go on protest camps every so often). They often have access to legal teams

2) people who probably don't/can't read the news on this and have a shambles of a boat, often without heating, possibly borrowed from a friend/slum lord, as they aren't able to operate in a sufficiently co-operative fashion to access social housing or are in the middle of asylum claim / have pets etc and so forth and so are in some way ineligible - if we criminalise these people, without offering any support they can access, it isn't clear to me what we achieve - more people sleeping rough?

3) those already sleeping rough on the tow path, sometimes in tents. People do not, in the very, very vast majority of cases, seem to do this as a lifestyle choice. The brief phase of economic migrants doing this seems to be largely over (near me). It is more a question of people who, for whatever reasons cannot access the help they need. Or perhaps that help is simply not available at all. Again, it is unclear what criminalisation does here. We're already talking about people living in desperate and dangerous circumstances. Anything which makes it harder for them to access the institutions who could possibly help them will almost certainly shorten life spans. And waste public money on prosecutions to achieve...?

 

Appreciate there are non-towpath (and non-where I walk the mutts bits of towpath) with very different situations

 

Whilst I am quiet concerned about the proposed change (esp the criminalisation) it does not directly widen the impact for boaters since it hinges on whether or not the boater has a licence. As has been argued above, the loss of a licence (or the failure to apply for one) would make one on the land without permission. Whilst the consequences might be more sevre, it is just the same people to whom this would apply as the proposed criminal trespass only kicks in when there is no licence.

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3 hours ago, WotEver said:

It would be if that’s what it said. But it doesn’t, so it isn’t. 

 

3 hours ago, David Mack said:

This is addressing trespass with an intention to reside, and is aimed at preventing traveller encampments, and should not affect walkers. That said it will potentially impact on wild campers and homeless people pitching tents in out-of-the way spots. 

 

Have you done the consultation? It's not worded so that it's limited to people setting up encampments. Though I disagree with that too. People sleeping rough, squatting in abandoned derelict buildings have got things hard enough without being made criminals.

 

To my original point, the first question:

 “To what extent do you agree or disagree that knowingly entering land without the landowner’s permission should only be made a criminal offence if it is for the purpose of residing on it?”

That is a dirty question imho. If you agree you are criminalising the way of some communities / cultures, if you disagree you are not limiting the criminalisation to just travellers / Roma but to everyone...for any purpose...

And my apologies, I realise this is off topic, I'm annoying meself by taking it off topic

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2 minutes ago, sirweste said:

To my original point, the first question:

 “To what extent do you agree or disagree that knowingly entering land without the landowner’s permission should only be made a criminal offence if it is for the purpose of residing on it?”

I disagreed, it should apply to all trespassers.

 

I bet if I was to wander about in some 'townies' front garden, digging holes, taking flowers, breaking fences the Police would soon be called.

Why as a 'land owner' should I be treated any differently ?

 

I had years of the 'Badger Protection Tree Huggers' breaking fences and wandering across my fields to make sure I had not dug up the Badger sett since their last visit a couple of days ago.

Even with the damage, the Police said it was a civil matter and they could do nothing.

 

There are many, many footpaths, bye ways and bridle-tracks, areas of 'Right to Roam' & permissive rights of way why should they need to be able to wander freely across agricultural land without the land owners permission ?

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2 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

I disagreed, it should apply to all trespassers.

 

I bet if I was to wander about in some 'townies' front garden, digging holes, taking flowers, breaking fences the Police would soon be called.

Why as a 'land owner' should I be treated any differently ?

 

I had years of the 'Badger Protection Tree Huggers' breaking fences and wandering across my fields to make sure I had not dug up the Badger sett since their last visit a couple of days ago.

Even with the damage, the Police said it was a civil matter and they could do nothing.

 

There are many, many footpaths, bye ways and bridle-tracks, areas of 'Right to Roam' & permissive rights of way why should they need to be able to wander freely across agricultural land without the land owners permission ?

Apologies again for taking this off topic.

 

Agriculture land I agree on. No sense in it. But vast areas of land in this country are owned by huge estates, it is these areas which we should be free to venture upon. I ride my mountain bike regularly through forests owned by water companies. Now and then a 'ranger' comes to try and give me an earful. For the simplicity of exploring our land I would not want to be made a criminal.

There were many arguments against right to roam in Scotland, barely any of the fears properly materialised and the right they now have is something we should aspire to.

 

If you were to be treated as a criminal for merely walking though much of our / your nation, how can you really belong to that nation?

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8 minutes ago, sirweste said:

Agriculture land I agree on. No sense in it. But vast areas of land in this country are owned by huge estates, it is these areas which we should be free to venture upon. I ride my mountain bike regularly through forests owned by water companies.

But why not just ask for permission ?

My wife used to ride (horse) thru Forestry Commission land (forests) for a matter of a pound-or-two you could by a licence which gave you proof of permission to ride anywhere within the FC land.

 

I have just looked on google and the permit scheme is still in operation (and apparently is free of charge for walkers and cyclists)

 

 

 

 

 

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