Squatting to be made criminal offence following MPs‘ campaign

SQUATTING in residential properties is to be made a criminal offence following a campaign lead by Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer.

The Government has announced squatting in residential properties will be changed from a civil offence to a criminal offence in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill which is currently going through Parliament.

Mr Freer has been campaigning for the change alongside Conservative MPs Mike Weatherley (Hove) and David Nuttall (Bury North).

They argued the current law makes it difficult for police to intervene and forces families who find their homes occupied by strangers to go through lengthy court processes to evict them.

Mr Freer, said: “I am extremely pleased the Government has listened to the thousands of victims of this crime and will change the law so it comes down firmly on the side of hard working taxpayers.

“No longer will the police have to stand by powerless as homeowners see their properties occupied and no longer will families have to spend thousands on a lengthy legal process just to get their own homes back.

„I applaud the Government’s decision and look forward to voting for the amendment in the Commons.”