Richard Madeley Reaction # 2

What a serious squatting discussion might look like - when Squash went to the Lords. Note the absence of an ITV film crew...

We saw the harrowing case of the lady whose housing association flat was squatted, leaving her homeless at the worst possible time. Whilst Madeley made an effort to dig for both sides of the story in some of his other enquiries, this shallow report left us short of the whole picture.

We only heard from the tenant and housing association representative who assured us that they couldn’t get the squatter out through the courts.

However, legal experts have made repeated attempts to clarify that tenants like this were already protected by the word of law, even if plaintiffs and the courts fail to implement it properly.

We want it to be clear that it is already a criminal offence for a squatter to occupy someone’s home, or a home that a person intends to occupy, under the Criminal Law Act 1977” wrote concerned lawyers in the Guardian before the LASPO bill criminalised squatting.

In his failure to look beyond the uninformed words of the association mouth-piece, Madeley replicated the mistakes which led to this damning law coming about.

“The current law is sufficient to protect homeowners, but is not understood by the public, the police, nor, it seems, politicians” stated the Law Society in consultation.

This persistent misunderstanding returned again to cloud this show, and wrongly justify the recent legislative changes.

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