Monthly Archives: March 2012

Squatting in residential properties to be criminalised in months

What a joke! All of it, the whole process. Last night the House of Lords passed a clause hidden in the legal aid bill to criminalise squatting in residential properties essentially making thousands of homeless people criminals overnight. A whole section of the very poorest and most vulnerable in society have been made criminals and again the debate took place extremely late in the day. The harsh reality is that the government keeps enough peers at Parliament late at night if they face any risk of defeat while the rest of the Lords (Labour, Crossbenchers, Bishops & others) rarely stay […]

Squatting in residential properties to be criminalised within months

What a joke! All of it, the whole process. Last night the House of Lords passed a clause hidden in the legal aid bill to criminalise squatting in residential properties essentially making thousands of homeless people criminals overnight. A whole section of the very poorest and most vulnerable in society have been made criminals and again the debate took place extremely late in the day. The harsh reality is that the government keeps enough peers at Parliament late at night if they face any risk of defeat while the rest of the Lords (Labour, Crossbenchers, Bishops & others) rarely stay […]

Criminalising squatting is the real crime

It’s a curious move during the worst housing crisis in modern memory, to turn homeless people who shelter in empty homes into criminals looking at a year in prison or a £5000 fine.

This from the government whose leader promised that austerity would not hurt “the vulnerable, the poorest in our society”.

New video: Cost of Criminalising Squatting

This video from Squash shows the cost of criminalising squatting, both human and financial. As the video says, the Lords still have a chance to stop criminalisation on Tuesday, when Clause 145 (formerly 136) is debated again. Do get in touch with them and let them know clause 145 is no way to handle a housing crisis; please share this video widely.

You know something stinks when its only debated at midnight

SQUASH campaigners have just returned home from a three hour stint in the House of Lords public gallery. After an hour discussion on scrap metal the debate on squatting finally took place just before midnight. Considering the hour the honourable noble speeches couldn’t have gone any better. Baroness Miller who had tabled five amendments in opposition to Clause 136 – which seeks to criminalise squatting in residential properties – denounced the injustices of this ill thought-out clause, and explained why this clause needed radically rethinking. Baroness Lister and Lord Bach (both Labour) spoke forcefully on the devastating impacts that this […]

Cost of new squatting law could be £790m

A report released today in The Guardian shows that the cost of criminalising squatting could reach £790 million in the first 5 years. ‘Can We Afford to Criminalise Squatting?’ concludes that government plans for criminalisation currently being debated in the House of Lords are “unaffordable” and “that the government has seriously underestimated the financial implications, raising serious questions”. The report is published as proposals to criminalise squatting in residential properties have reached report stage under Clause 136 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders bill (LASPO) currently passing through the House of Lords. It is expected the House […]

And those amendments in full…

These are the amendments we’re tabling in full, with explanations why we support them. They’re been tabled by a friendly peer and will be debated in the House of Lords next Tuesday 20 March. That will be a very important day: it could mean the criminalisation of squatting in residential buildings; it could mean a stay of execution for squatting. We’re doing everything we can to make sure it’s the latter, and we think these amendments will help…

The final push: what you need to know to save squatting

We’re now at the most critical stage of the campaign, our very last chance to stop the criminalisation of squatting. Next Tuesday 20 March, Clause 136 of the Legal-Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) bill will be debated and voted on in the House of Lords. If it’s passed it would sanction a £5000 fine or up to a year in prison for those squatting in residential buildings.

Find out what you need to know to help make sure that doesn’t happen…

Channel 4: Minister with no sympathy for homeless

“Whether it is a creative community looking for studio space, or homeless individuals desperate for a bed, squatting has long been part of Britain’s housing landscape. When the massive Huntley Street squat in Bloomsbury was evicted in 1978, protests were staged across the world in solidarity.

But all that could all change after next week. The House of Lords will vote on the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, clause 130 of which relates to the criminalisation of squatting.”

The report was featured on Channel 4′s news on Friday, and shows some positive aspects of squatting, like doing up a derelict property as shown in the video. It also questions how criminalising the homeless, at a time when their numbers are increasing, will help with a housing crisis.

Bad time to ban squatting

The Lords will soon have their final chance to reverse the government’s attempts to criminalise squatting in Clause 136 of the Legal Aid Bill.

With 720,000 empty houses and a stream of new figures on increasing homelessness, this is a bad time to outlaw squatting.

Where it’s at: an update on the parliamentary process and our campaign to stop criminalisation…

As LASPO enters the House of Lords, the campaign to stop the criminalisation of squatting is entering its most critical phase.

This is a look back on LASPO’s progress through parliament, an update on where it’s at now and advice on what you can do to help make sure squatting doesn’t become a criminal act…

Squash on the radio

Dissident Island very kindly invited us onto the radio to talk about stopping the criminalisation of squatting. Not a bad little round up of where the campaign’s at, sandwiched between some super-dirty dubstep and Police and Thieves sounds…