New HMIC report: 'Adapting to Protest'

Paul Mobbs mobbsey at
Mon Feb 14 22:16:02 GMT 2011

On Thursday, February 10, 2011 08:26:42 am you wrote:
> On 09/02/2011 09:17, Paul Mobbs wrote:
> > especially now that the
> > government say they're going to make camping on private land a criminal
> > offence.
> Can you point me in the direction of more information on this please. Is
> this just in relation to protest camps, or does it cover all camping?
> What you said implies banning all camping except on official camp sites.

The new Tory ideologues have had it in for 'DIY lifestyle' for a while. E.g., 
they're also having a go at squatting at the moment  -- e.g. see 

A lot of these changes were propsed, before the election, in the Conservative 
'Planning Green Paper' released back in February 2010 (see page 18) --

...or see this page for a digest of the proposals --

The proposed law of 'intentional trespass' is being advanced as a general 
measure, not as a measure specifically targetting travellers -- because if they 
did make it traveller specific it would probably be ruled unlawful/ 
discriminatory. So the effect will be to make any unauthorised access to land a 
criminal offence. E.g. see the Commons debate from 8th Sept. last year --

As well as travellers the changes would serious impact on squatting -- see the 
Advisory Service for Squatters' views at --

Of course, the Tory machine is applauding the proposals --

At the moment all the effort has been around squatting and travellers. However, 
reading what's proposed, it would cover all forms of wild camping and, by 
definition, anhy form of land occupation. Not just camping on "private land" 
either. Even large rights of way -- like the Ridgeway, Whiteway and some of 
the otherlong distance paths -- are simply "rights of way".

The public have, in case law, the right to "pass and repass" along any right 
of way, but that does not extent to a right to "reside". All public rights of 
way are, in legal terms, private land. Therefore camping on an ancient track, 
or any other right of way, even though historically the custom is an ancient 
vestige of travelling and droving, could be construed as a criminal offence 
since you are "residing" on private land, not passing across it.

Basically, with this law not just wild camping, but land occupation that 
doesn't involve damage to property or violence, will be a criminal offence for 
whicht he police can take immediate action.




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