Mike Weatherley, the MP for Hove is proposing an Early Day Motion to criminalise squatting and since the Tories were already discussing something similar a year ago it will probably go through. In Sussex, there were 6,723 privately owned homes were reported as being empty for more than 6 months in 2007.
EDM - http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-11/1545
Mike the Twat - http://www.mikeweatherleymp.com/2011/03/18/squatting-campaign-close-to-victory/
There is high level support for this. Kenneth Clarke is reported to be rushing through changes to the present law....
Writing in the Torygraph the Housing Minister, Grant Schapps, said:
"This Government is acutely aware of the misery squatters can cause, and the anger at the perception of 'squatters' rights' and that these people who invade properties can do so and go virtually unpunished. That is why we are working to strengthen the law to make it a criminal offence."
They tried to make criminal trespass law in the 1970s, and ended up changing the laws slightly in 1977 with the Criminal Justice Act which introduced the persons unknown stuff and the PIO.
I think this is going to happen in some form but we need to fight it...
The human rights angle is interesting...
As is the legal...
The political mileage in it is also huge, we could turn this to our advantage since squatting is direct action against capitalism, but it wil be hard. The LibDems should be opposing this or at least watering it down.
Just to draw this out, this is basically a plan to make trespass a criminal offence. This will fuck over squatters and also gypsies, travellers, protest camps, ramblers, the list goes on...