TECHNICAL FORUMS > National Access Discussions
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The government manifesto stated it wanted to introduce a law to make trespass a criminal offence. The law is to be aimed at travellers but the Ramblers, BMC and many other outdoor groups are very concerned with the implications of such a law and are fighting against it. Both the CNCC and BCA C&A officer responded to the government consultation highlighting concerns on how it might effect other users of the outdoors.
There is a petition at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300139 if anyone wishes to sign it.
That petition states, "The Government's manifesto stated “we will make intentional trespass a criminal offence”: an extreme, illiberal & unnecessary attack on ancient freedoms that would threaten walkers, campers, and the wider public. It would further tilt the law in favour of the landowning 1% who own half the country."
If trespass is criminalised, most trips down Swildon's will be illegal, unless you are going to knock on half the doors in Priddy asking for permission for the bit of cave they own, since ownership extends, by case law (Bocardo SA v Star Energy UK Onshore Ltd) deep below the surface...
'Trespass with a motor vehicle' is already a criminal offence, and Travellers do it all the time. Never used as a lever though to 'move them on'.
So I doubt if this will make any difference.
There's already aggravated trespass which is a criminal offence. If there's a specific 'use case' they are after with this act, why not just bring that under aggravated trespass and let the rest of us wander around with the benefit of the ancient freedoms bestowed by our ancestors?
If trespass is to become 'more' criminalised, I wonder if the chain of shops that goes by the name 'Trespass' will change. It always amused me that they would use such a title. Can you imagine a shop called 'Drunk Driving', or 'Grievous Bodily Harm'?
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