§ 26. Mr. David Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has to enable the swift eviction of travellers illegally occupying local authority land. 84W
§ Mr. Charles Clarke
The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 provides powers for the police and local authorities to remove travellers who are camping on unauthorised sites. Section 61 allows the police to direct them to leave, and failure to comply with a direction is an arrestable offence. Section 77 allows the local authority to direct unauthorised campers to leave; failure to comply is a criminal offence, and the local authority may apply to the magistrates court for an order allowing them to take reasonable steps to achieve compliance. The Home Office/DETR guidance document "Managing Unauthorised Camping" has recently been revised to reinforce the message that unauthorised camping which involves criminal or antisocial behaviour should not be tolerated.