Thank you for contacting me about unauthorised traveller sites and trespass.
The setting up of illegal traveller sites can be a nuisance for local communities and an inappropriate development on open space. I know that many local residents across the country are concerned about anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping, and noise related to unauthorised sites.
The Government is consulting on measures to criminalise the act of trespassing when setting up an unauthorised encampment in England and Wales. Ministers are also consulting on other measures to strengthen police powers in order to tackle unauthorised encampments. The consultation survey has now closed, and Ministers are currently analysing feedback. I, like you, await the Government's response and look forward to scrutinising any decisions that are taken.
The measures under consideration would not affect ramblers, the right to roam or rights of way. Instead, measures could be applied in specific circumstances relating to trespass with intent to reside.
The Government has made it clear that only a minority of travellers are causing problems, such as through abusive behaviour and extensive litter and waste at illegal sites. The vast majority of the travelling community are decent law-abiding people and we must ensure that there are legal sites available for travellers. The Government has also given £200,000 to support projects working with Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities to tackle discrimination, improve integration, healthcare and education.
I am confident that Government action will help to reduce the number of illegal caravan sites across the country, while respecting people’s right to a nomadic way of life.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me
Sally-Ann Hart MP