April 10, 2021

Community

Barriers to Nomad living and the UK Police Bill

We know a lot of you have concerns and questions about the ways governments are stopping people from living off the grid.  Its a growing problem everywhere, and Covid legislation has made it worse.

In the United States its virtually illegal to live anywhere except a conventional house.  And in the UK, the new Police Bill currently going through parliament will bring in harsh laws against nomadic people. The proposal will impact everyone who is living, or wishes to live, nomadically – by culture, choice or necessity.
 
We are kicking off a write-in campaign to legislators, to bring together those of us who support the nomadic lifestyle to influence their legislators.  Below we share with you what has been stated in the UK legislation which is likely to become law by October 2021. At the end of this post is a template email you can send to legislators and your local police commissioners
Please share this post to inform everyone that could be affected in our community.
 
The 2021 Police Bill currently awaiting its committee stage in the commons will strengthen police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments that “significantly interfere with a person’s or community’s ability to make use of land.”  Imagine three camper vans parked on a street. Do they significantly interfere with ability to make use of that street?  That will leave everything to the judgement of local people who want to complain, and local police who have to enforce the law.
 

The proposed powers will come into effect when:

  • A person aged 18 or over resides or intends to reside on land without consent of the occupier of the land;
  • They have, or intend to have, at least one vehicle with them on the land;
  • They have caused or are likely to cause significant damage, disruption or distress;
  • Persons fail to leave the land and remove their property following a request to do so;
  • Persons enter or return to the land with an intention of residing there without the consent of the occupier of the land, and with an intention to have at least one vehicle with them, within 12 months of a request to leave.

This new offence will be punishable by a prison sentence of up to 3 months, or a fine of up to £2500, or both.

Take action by emailing your local representative (MPs or local Councillors). You can find them and write to them here
Enter your post code on the web page, and write to your MP, and your local councillors, asking them to oppose this bill. MPs can vote against it or amend it before it is passed as it is currently going through Parliament.  Local councils will need to decide what stance they want to take towards nomadic residents.
Local council budgets will be impacted if a van is seized and a family made legally homeless. They may
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