§ Sir Michael Spicer
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to give greater powers to the police to evict travellers who are occupying private land against the wishes of the owners of the land. 
§ Mr. Michael
[holding answer 29 April 1998]We will consider any proposals for strengthening the law if this will have a practical effect in helping the police to be more effective. The police already have wide powers under sections 61 and 62 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to remove trespassers and their vehicles where they have, for example, been abusive to the owner, a member of his family or his agent; or they have between them six or more vehicles. These powers complement the powers available to local authorities under sections 77 and 78 of the Act to direct unauthorised campers to leave land. Decisions about how to enforce the criminal law are an operational matter for chief police officers.