We have arrived at the time of year when businesses and landowners are more regularly provoked into taking action against unlawful and unauthorised encampments and trespassing. Groups who encamp unlawfully are more mobile at this time of year, and although new police powers have come into force in 2021 to remove squatters and unauthorised encampments, under common law businesses and landowners retain the right to evict nuisance occupiers off their land. Therefore, businesses can take reasonable steps to deal with the situation themselves, but the emphasis is on the word ‘reasonable’.
The Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill 2021 includes new measures which are effectively an improvement on the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (CJPOA) 1994. Under this, police had the right to remove unauthorised encampments which had damaged property or land, threatened the owner, or encamped with six or more vehicles. This updated 2021 legislation lowers that threshold to just two vehicles, making it easier to enforce, and creates a potential fine of £2,500 or a three-month prison sentence.
Site evictions in the UK
In 2019 there were over 1000 unauthorised encampments in the UK, and although this was a reduction from a high of over 1500 in 2017, it is still a very high number. Businesses and landowners can serve a common law notice on the occupiers of the land in question and bailiffs will eventually force their removal from your site. However, this can be a lengthy process, during which time damage or nuisance could continue. So it is possible to evict unauthorised occupiers of your land in a peaceful and lawful manner, through using a licenced dog handler.
Of course it is important that you use lawful procedures to force occupiers off your land, and using professional site eviction experts is the best way to go about this.
At First Response Group we are experienced in fast and effective site evictions, which can help to prevent physical damage to a site and reputational damage to your business. This can be difficult to deal with and can take critical resources away from key areas of your operations. Using a professional site eviction team can enforce your right to remove trespassers and unauthorised encampments from private land. Using specialist teams with site-specific instructions, First Response Group can follow standard bailiff procedures to peacefully resolve the situation. This removes the need for you to face unpleasant confrontations and stress, and situations you may not have the legal knowledge to deal with.
How our site eviction experts work
We can provide highly trained Enforcement Officers, partnered with dogs who are skilled in providing an effective deterrent. These teams are SIA licenced professionals, qualified by NASDU, are fully uniformed and arrive in marked vehicles. We have experience of working in many different industries, such as construction, manufacturing, distribution centres and on vacant land and properties to remove mobile groups intent on encampment and other trespassers who undertake unauthorised encampment. Our record of enforcing peaceful evictions develops skills that are invaluable to businesses who have no experience of dealing with such a challenging scenario.
So if you are facing a situation of unauthorised encampment, get in touch with First Response Group and we can discuss your legal position and the options open to you. And we can supply a team of professional site eviction experts to resolve the situation lawfully and peacefully. Contact us today to discuss your site eviction requirements.