26 September 2011
I have a limited input to the “Squatting Consultation”. I am concerned specifically with squatting in people’s homes. Hence this short version of the questions:
4. Do you think the current law adequately deals with squatting?
No. The law helps get people out of the house, within a few days. But it doesn’t deter people from entering it and squatting in it in the first place.
From my experience as a victim of “breaking and entering”, the “entering” has worse consequences than the “breaking”, and the act of entering and squatting is about as serious as conventional “breaking and entering”.
6. Do you think there is a need for a new criminal offence of squatting?
Yes. It appears to be the only way of deterring people from squatting in the first place.
(I would be willing to hear of other ways. I want deterrence, not retribution).
7. If so, do you agree with the basic definition of squatting set out in paragraph 21?
I am concerned solely with unauthorised entry and occupation of people’s homes. I have no comments on other cases.
8. How should the term ‘occupation’ be defined? Should it cover those who occupy a building for a short period (e.g. a couple of hours)?
Yes, or even shorter. My experience as a victim of breaking and entering is that damage and contamination can be done in a shorter time than 2 hours.
9. What buildings should be covered by the offence?
My input here is limited to my “main dwelling”; my “castle”. I am far less concerned about anything else.