Tag Archives: section 144

Four Years since Residential Squatting Criminalised

Four years ago today, squatting in empty residential properties became a criminal offence in England and Wales, with the introduction of section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (2012). Since then many young and homeless people have felt the effects of the new law, and squatting itself has become an ever more precarious housing option…. SQUASH Newsletter for 1st September 2016.

Squatting Stats 2015 version 2 released

Original report, “Squatting Statistics 2015″ has been updated as Version 2.0 with additional information on: 1] Prosecutions & Convictions for section 144 & “Begging”: Analysis of Ministry of Justice Criminal Justice statistics, released 19 May 2016 2] Crime Related Incidents (CRI): Greater Manchester Police submitted information about “squatting” CRIs in 2015, providing useful background on Alternative Offences, and evidence of vulnerable adults & children squatting.

Squatting & Criminalisation in the Netherlands

On the 11th June 2016, ETC Dee gave a presentation at the DeCentre space in Whitechapel, entitled “Squatting in the Netherlands”. The talk looked at well-known squats & social centres, the 2010 law criminalising squatting and its impact, and finally a history of squatting in the Netherlands. Both the Netherlands and England&Wales have a long squatting history, and both recently had squatting criminalised by their respective right-wing governments. However, there are key differences too: all squatting was criminalised in Holland, and only residential in England&Wales; Holland criminalised squatting two years before England&Wales, and the Dutch government appears more inclined to imprison squatters.

PRESS RELEASE – Squatting Stats 2015: rising homelessness linked to criminalisation of squatting

The latest report, “Squatting Statistics 2015: The link between rising homelessness and the criminalisation of squatting” (May 2016), from Squatters Action for Secure Homes (SQUASH), in partnership with Streets Kitchen, found that 148 people were arrested under section 144 in 2015, bringing the total number of people arrested for the offence to at least 736 since 2012. The criminalisation of squatting in residential properties in England and Wales, through section 144 of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (2011), is leading to the arrest of young homeless people in the hundreds, rising street homelessness and is pushing up residential property prices.

Squatting law causes more problems than it prevents

Vyvian Raoul says squatting law causes more problems than it prevents, in a guest post for the New Interntaionalist blog. Our report – The Case Against Section 144 – shows that not a single, solitary squatter arrested under the new law was found to be displacing a homeowner…