Mary Macleod (Brentford and Isleworth, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent representations he has received on the potential merits of making squatting in commercial buildings a criminal offence.
Damian Green (The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice; Ashford, Conservative)
We have received several letters from MPs and members of the public about this issue. Some have described the financial impact that squatting can have on commercial property owners, including the costs they might incur through loss of revenue, legal fees and building repairs. Others have expressed concern about the impact criminalisation could have on people who squat in dilapidated commercial buildings to avoid rough sleeping. We are considering these issues carefully and have not made any final decisions about whether to criminalise squatting in commercial buildings.