MP for South Leicestershire, Alberto Costa, has given his backing to new proposals set out by the Government to create a new law in order to tackle unauthorised traveller encampments.
In plans announced by the Home Secretary yesterday, a new offence will be created of ‘residing in a vehicle on land without consent’, and legislation will also be strengthened to allow Police to remove trespassers as part of the forthcoming Police, Crime, Sentencing and Court Bill.
New penalties for offences will include up to three months imprisonment or a fine of up to £2,500 and offenders will not be allowed to return to the land in question for 12 months.
Mr Costa said, “I very much welcome these new proposals outlined by the Home Secretary in order to tackle illegal encampments. This has been a long-standing issue of concern for rural communities in South Leicestershire for some time, and so I am really delighted to see the Government taking firm and decisive action in giving the Police the powers they need to deal with these encampments in a firm and timely manner”.
The M.P. added, “For far too long there has been a distinct lack of clarify on how these encampments should be dealt with; and often the local authority would be required to undertake a costly and lengthy judicial process, and sadly these delays have caused significant damage at the expense of our rural communities. These measures are both needed and necessary to keep our villages and towns safe and I look forward to seeing the new Bill being brought forward in the House of Commons very soon”.