Squatting

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 29th March 2011.

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Photo of Mike Weatherley Mike Weatherley Conservative, Hove 2:30 pm, 29th March 2011

What progress he has made on reform of legislation on squatting.

Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) (Prisons and Probation)

The Government take this issue very seriously and are therefore exploring options for strengthening the existing legal framework and its enforcement. We hope to be in a position to announce our plans soon. In the meantime, we have published guidance for home owners about the steps they can take to regain possession of their properties.

Photo of Mike Weatherley Mike Weatherley Conservative, Hove

I thank the Minister for his reply. In my constituency of Hove and Portslade we are often plagued by serial squatters, who cost the city and taxpayers many tens of thousands of pounds. Will the Minister confirm that the proposals he is considering will be a sufficient deterrent to these well-organised squatters?

Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) (Prisons and Probation)

Penalties are one of the many issues we are looking at. I am pleased to say that my hon. Friend and I will have the opportunity to address them more fully tomorrow in Westminster Hall.