Philip Davies (Shipley, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of changes in the prevalence of squatting in commercial premises following the introduction of the criminal provisions contained in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.
Damian Green (The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice; Ashford, Conservative)
We are aware of reports that the offence of squatting in a residential building, which came into force last September, might be encouraging squatters to occupy non-residential buildings. We are monitoring this situation closely and are not ruling out further action if needed. If he is aware of evidence to suggest that instances of squatting in non-residential buildings have increased in the Shipley area since the offence was introduced, we will look closely at any information he has.