The Government is clear that unauthorised encampments cause harm to the local environment and that the rights of settled residents must be respected.
Local authorities are best-placed to determine when it is appropriate to use their powers to evict unauthorised encampments under Sections 77 and 78 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (1994) during the Covid-19 pandemic, and should work with the police and magistrates’ courts in their local area.
On 5 November 2019, the Government launched a consultation seeking views on measures to strengthen police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments. The consultation closed on the 5 March. We will announce the outcome of this consultation in due course.