MPs support ‘Irish option’ to prevent unauthorised encampments

Three Essex MPs are supporting calls for stronger legislation against unauthorised encampments in the country.

There is a wide consensus that the powers available to the police, local authorities and landowners are insufficient to stop unauthorised encampments and the anti-social and illegal activities which often accompany them.

The Government is currently consulting as to the best way forward – either by amending the Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994 or by passing new legislation, along the lines of the situation in the Republic of Ireland, to criminalise trespass.

John Baron MP (Basildon & Billericay), Stephen Metcalfe MP (South Basildon & East Thurrock) and Rt Hon Mark Francois MP (Rayleigh & Wickford) have put in a joint submission strongly supporting legislation along the Irish model.

In a joint statement, the threeMPs said, “Residents’ lives can be severely inconvenienced by those travellers who consider themselves above the law, and it is high time that the shortcomings in the current range of powers available to Police, local authorities and landowners were addressed. In our view, adopting the ‘Irish Option’ would be the best way forward.”

“We will press the Government to bring forward the required legislation as soon as possible.”

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]