DESPITE AN ASTOUNDING 2165 OUT OF 2217 RESPONSES RAISING CONCERNS ABOUT THE CRIMINALISATION OF SQUATTING IN THE RECENT PUBLIC "CONSULTATION", GOVERNMENT MINISTERS ARE RUNNING WITH IT ANYWAY AND SEEK TO MAKE SQUATTING IN ANY RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY A CRIMINAL OFFENCE. THEY PLAN TO SLIDE THIS IN WITH THE LEGAL AID, SENTENCING, AND PUNISHMENT OF OFFENDERS BILL.
they are a bunch of fuckwits and their democracy is a joke. this is really bad and we need to take action.
Government 'bypasses democracy' to sneak through anti-squatting laws
Housing charities, MPs, squatters, property consultants, activists, lawyers and artists have accused the government of sneaking in an amendment to the Legal Aid and Sentencing Bill announced today by Justice Secretary Ken Clarke to “make squatting in residential buildings a criminal offence”. Campaigners say the amendment will not take into account the thousands of consultation responses submitted earlier this month and will not add any further protection to residents.
Over the past 3 months the government have been undertaking a consultation process entitled “Options for Dealing with squatters” which came to an end on October 5th. Squatters Action for Secure Homes (SQUASH) have accused the government of “ignoring the consultation” by rushing through anti-squatting laws only 3 weeks after the consultation has ended.
The amendment states that making squatting in residential building a criminal offence will “end the misery of home-owners whose properties have been preyed on by squatters”. However strong legislation already exists to protect residents from having there home squatted. Last month 160 leading legal figures wrote an open letter which was published in The Guardian explaining that under Section 7 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 it is already a criminal offence to squat someone’s home.1
SQUASH spokesperson Paul Reynolds, said:
“ The governent is ignoring the results of its own consultation which shows that the criminalisation of squatting in empty residential properties will do nothing to protect residents who are already protected by strong legislation. This amendment will criminalise the homeless in the middle of a housing crisis who use squatting as the last remaining option to keep a roof over their heads.”
John Mcdonnell, MP for Hayes and Harlington said:
“By trying to sneak this amendment through the back door the government are attempting to bypass democracy. There was over 2,200 responses to the consultation on squatting so there is no way the government could have acknowledged all the evidence”.
FROM THE FUCKWITS:
Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has announced a raft of tough measures to better protect people from intruders, dangerous criminals and excessive no-win no-fee legal costs.
He set out plans for the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill as the latest in a series of radical moves to reduce reoffending, improve sentencing and reform the legal aid system.
The amendments include measures to:
Make squatting in residential buildings a criminal offence to end the misery of home-owners whose properties have been preyed on by squatters.
Strengthen people's rights to use force to defend themselves from intruders in their own homes.
Give magistrates power to hand down bigger fines.
Ban the referral fees which have allowed middle-men to profit from encouraging others to make unnecessary compensation claims.
The new measures will be debated in the House of Commons next week and, if passed by vote, will be added to Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill which is currently progressing through Parliament. The full amendment notes can be found here.
If you are interested in continuing to receive updates on the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, you can register on the MoJ website.
MoJ response to the consultation http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/dealing-with-squatters.htm