HL Deb 01 December 1983 vol 445 cc865-6WA
The Earl of Onslow

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What conclusions they have reached on the need for a criminal offence of trespass on residential premises in the light of the comments received on the consultative document issued earlier this year.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Elton)

My right honourable and learned friend the Home Secretary has given careful consideration, in consultation with my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor and my right honourable and learned friend the Attorney General, to the considerable number of comments received in response to the consultative document on trespass on residential premises in England and Wales.

The response has shown a broad consensus that criminal sanctions should be available against uninvited intrusions into people's homes. It is clearly, too, the general wish that, if there is to be a new criminal offence, it should afford protection to all citizens in their homes and not be confined, for example, to Royal residences. There is, however, also concern that any new offence should apply only to those who trespass intentionally and have no reasonable excuse for their behaviour. My right honourable and learned friend has therefore asked officials to draw up proposals for a new offence of trespassing on residential premises which achieves this result. The scale of the problem as indicated by our consultations was not such as to suggest that legislation is needed urgently. Proposals will be brought forward as soon as the details have been fully worked out and other commitments allow. My honourable friend will be writing to my noble friend about the arrangements for this very shortly.