In early 2019, a meeting was held in Runnymede, which was attended by senior representatives from virtually every Surrey district council, together with Surrey County Council, Surrey Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner and a number of Surrey MPs.
The meeting was most productive, and plans were discussed to ensure that any future unauthorised incursions are dealt with as quickly as possible.
In early 2020, Michael discussed this issue again with the Chief Constable of Surrey Police, and wrote to the Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, to highlight the difficulties in dealing with incursions swiftly.
The Government has recently consulted on measures to criminalise the act of trespassing when setting up an unauthorised encampment. The Consultation closed on 4 March 2020. The Home Secretary wrote to Michael on 1 April 2020 to confirm that the submissions are currently being reviewed and a response will be issued in due course. A copy of that letter is attached below.
Following the incursion in Lightwater in April 2020, Michael wrote again to the Home Secretary to ask for an update. Her response is attached below. In December 2020, Michael wrote once more to the Home Secretary to ask what progress had been made following her clarification in June that the Home Office’s analysis of the responses to the consultation was almost complete.
In March 2021, Michael received an update from the Home Secretary confirming that following the completion of the consultation, the Government plans to strengthen police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments. You can find out more information at the following webpage: