The government should rethink trespass.
The Ramblers is calling on the government to rethink plans to change trespass laws, amid concerns that the moves could have the unintended consequences of eroding walkers’ rights and deterring people from visiting the countryside.
In the autumn, the Home Office opened a consultation, which is closing on 4 March, about strengthening police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments. The Conservative Party general election manifesto reiterated this commitment and their intention to ‘criminalise intentional trespass’.
Trespass is currently a civil wrong and criminalisation would be a major change in the law – and one that could have a significant impact on walkers.
Gemma Cantelo, head of policy and advocacy at the Ramblers, said: ‘We’re worried that these proposals are the thin edge of a wedge, which could result in an erosion of people’s rights to access and enjoy the countryside.’
‘It’s vital that the access rights that the Ramblers and others…
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