Monthly Archives: September 2012

SQUASH NewsRound: Issue 1, September 2012

Squash News Round will be a fortnightly event, keeping tabs on articles being posted in MainStream Media (MSM) sources, as well as independent channels (eg IMC, SchNEWS) about squatting, the new law (s.144) and possible new legislation (eg commercial). Issue No. 1: September 2012. Contains the following articles: MSM coverage of the new law (s.144 LASPO) coming into effect, Irene Gardiner and her case in Wales, arrest of Alex Haigh (first person prosecuted), reaction to first arrest, and housing blogs claiming the new law is not effective enough.

Campaigners condemn “crazy” squatting law after first person jailed

A 21 year-old man today became the first person to be jailed under section 144, the new law to criminalise squatting in residential properties. Campaigners condemned the move as deeply disproportionate and unjust. Two other individuals have also been convicted and one is being held in prison to await sentencing. The three were arrested in a Housing Association property in Pimlico on the 2nd September 2012, the day after section 144 came into force. The building had lain empty for over a year. According to his parents, the young man, Alex Haigh, had come to London seeking job opportunities in […]

Update from Eviction Resistance Network

**This round-up is cross-posted from the [Eviction Resistance Network]( blog.** We’ve been keeping track of squat related activity since September 1st when squatting in residential building was made illegal. Here’s a quick round up: **GLASTONBURY** A few days ago we reported that 5 individuals were, to our knowledge, the first to be arrested under the new law. Coincidently, it has also been revealed that proposals to make more emergency accommodation for homeless young people in Somerset have twice been turned down by planners. We understand the Squatters Legal Network are keen to support those arrested. Here’s more information from the […]

Criminalising Squatting – Privatising Empty Space

On the 1st September the act of squatting in a residential building became a criminal offence under [Section 144]( of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO). This unprecedented piece of legislation was enacted to a flurry of government statements claiming ‘justice’ and ‘protection’ for “hard-working homeowners” against the “misery of squatting”. At once both mimicking and feeding vitriolic media campaigns, Justice Minister Crispin Blunt claimed that “by making this change, we can [slam shut the door on squatters]( once and for all”. By Monday the 3rd September we saw [police with battering rams in Brighton](

Legal challenge to new squatting law

This post is by Leigh Day & Co legal firm who are coordinating the legal challenge and was originally posted on their blog here A mother of four from Wales is taking legal action challenging the new anti-squatting legislation, coming into force today (1 September 2012), in a bid to stay in the house she has lived in for 11 years with her children. Irene Gardiner (49) has lived in her home, a cottage in Newchapel, near Llanidloes, as a squatter for 11 years. Her two younger children Hazel (15) and Sol (13) live with her and attend the local […]