/ Conservative Manifesto clause, trespass.

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Presley Whippet 26 Nov 2019

There is a clause within the manifesto which includes the phrase:

"make intentional trespass a criminal offence" 

The clause itself is designed to criminalise the travelling community, which will undoubtedly sell well in the golf club bar.

From a climbing/walking/playing out point of view, the phrase regarding intentional trespass is worrying. Could it affect us? 

Post edited at 07:23
1
wbo2 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Yes.  

The concept of 'cheeky' trails will get hit as well

wercat 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

perhaps we'll see people arresting hunting folk under suspicion of "intentional trespass"?

I doubt whether this would ever be enacted by Parliament and if so then I could envisage a whole series of Mass Intentional Trespasses being organised until people realise it needs removing.

However, it should be publicised.  Have the Ramblers from Manchester Way taken it up yet?

btw this is an attempt to remove the requirement for ANY aggravating action by the trespasser before a criminal offence has been committed.  You could get a criminal record for deliberately leaving a footpath over a farm and using a different field to avoid cows with calves or a nosey bull.

TAKE BACK CONTROL OF OUR COUNTRYSIDE - KEEP THE PEASANTS ORF OUR LAND! Say the rich and privileged Brexiteers

Post edited at 08:49
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The Wild Scallion 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> From a climbing/walking/playing out point of view, the phrase regarding intentional trespass is worrying. Could it affect us? 

Well it is the Conservatives we're talking about , so yeah .

;-)

1
wercat 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

btw is this from a trusted source?

Mike Stretford 26 Nov 2019
Tom V 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

It will probably sell well in places like Appleby, too, Understandably.

2
Rog Wilko 26 Nov 2019
In reply to wbo2:

>  'cheeky' trails

Wot that?

Presley Whippet 26 Nov 2019
In reply to wercat:

I am not sure that I would call CCHQ trusted. 

toad 26 Nov 2019
In reply to wercat:

Pritty Patel was pushing this a couple of weeks ago.  This seemed to be appallingly inhuman.Tellingly, the police think its a Bad Idea, but the conservatives still seem to be enthusiastic about it.

1
wbo2 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Rog Wilko:mountain biking 'off piste' .  Youd be surprised what people get up to - it varies from people riding footpaths to digging 'secret' trails with jumps etc.  On land they dont own.  Some of it is hard to have much sympathy for... but.. look at the number of crags listed where access not tolerated, if asked to leave go politely.  If the asked to leave came with a visit to court as well??

2
dread-i 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

>The clause itself is designed to criminalise the travelling community, which will undoubtedly sell well in the golf club bar.

Seems like this would also be handy to stop those pesky kids from reporting on wildlife crimes on grouse moors.

The law already covers some of this. I guess that this will align the public and private laws?

From what I understand notice has to be given. I would hope that this provision is included, rather than lots of land owners resorting to performing a citizens arrest on errant ramblers.

77 Power of local authority to direct unauthorised campers to leave land.

(1)If it appears to a local authority that persons are for the time being residing in a vehicle or vehicles within that authority’s area

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1994/33/section/77

MJAngry 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Of course this idea filters down from your large scale picture.

Imagine a man stood in your back garden, who won't leave when asked.

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Tom V 26 Nov 2019
In reply to MJAngry:

Or taking a shit there.

1
mcdougal 26 Nov 2019
In reply to MJAngry:

The "back garden argument" was won a long time ago and the man in your scenario could be dealt with under stalking and harassment legislation.

Post edited at 10:48
Arms Cliff 26 Nov 2019
In reply to dread-i:

> Seems like this would also be handy to stop those pesky kids from reporting on wildlife crimes on grouse moors.

Grouse moors are largely on access land, and as such would not fall under any new trespass laws.  Unless they are going to try and revoke access land too!!

spenser 26 Nov 2019
In reply to MJAngry:

Refusing to leave when asked already makes it a criminal offence IIRC.

Dave Garnett 26 Nov 2019
In reply to mcdougal:

Or when persuaded to do so by reasonable force, or because a policeman requested him to do so.

jkarran 26 Nov 2019
spenser 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I've pointed this out to Cath Flitcroft at the BMC as she's responsible for their interface with the government and will be well placed to get an answer from them about this.

wercat 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I think perhaps that every hillwalker should self report to a police station on one particular day to overload the system

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Billhook 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Potentially quite worrying.  

At the moment trespass for the most part such as walking on a farmers field, through woods and private land (or indeed rivers if like me you are a canoeist)  is  a civil matter and unless you  comment a criminal offence such as poaching, or your continued presence is likely to result in a criminal offence such as a breach of the peace, criminal damage, etc., then the police will normally be reluctant to be involved.  And at the moment you cannot be prosecuted solely for trespass  (OK, there are specified places such as military property, railways and so on where you can be prosecuted for trespass but these are the exception rather than the rule)..

If however it becomes illegal then like Wercat states you could end up with a criminal offence for something quite trivial.   However I too cannot think this will ever get passed by parliament/house of lords etc.,   If you'll excuse the pun, its a step too far and I think its such a radical change I don't think it will happen.

Anyway, does anyone really believe everything the politicians promise us they'll do?

wercat 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Billhook:

If they renamed their pledge to "We'll criminalise tens, possibly hundreds of thousands of formerly law abiding citizens" I wonder how that pledge would go down.  The BBC hasn't taken this up - I wonder if it will?

By the way, last night I reported an item for sale on Ebay - a very unpleasant Remoaner t-shirt which was definitely saying rather hateful things.  I suggest anyone else who finds hatred against "Remoaners" being propagated on Ebay could also report items like this - direct lawful action.

Andrew Marr and nast Nick on R4 have both used this term and allowed its use without challenge during interviews and chat shows and have been complicit in spreading this offensive unpleasantness.

This is a way of hitting back against thug-good vendors.

https://www.e..bay.co.uk/itm/Remoaner-Remainer-Brexit-T-Shirt/153654477735?hash=item23c68543a7:m:mquGMuVeAtA2R7srcnF7g0Q (remove 2 dots in the bay to see)

Post edited at 11:59
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DancingOnRock 26 Nov 2019
In reply to spenser:

Trespass is a civil law. If you ask someone to leave and they do, then no further action. If they don’t then you have to take legal action against them.

1
DancingOnRock 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Doubt it’ll get passed as it’s unenforceable. That’s why it’s a civil law at present. By the time the police arrive the trespasser will be long gone. Then the police will have to mount a national manhunt for a bloke in a blue cagoule and backpack who crossed a field and jumped over a fence. 

Tom V 26 Nov 2019
In reply to wercat:

Remoaner. Gammon. Two horns on the same goat.

3
tom_in_edinburgh 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Billhook:

> Anyway, does anyone really believe everything the politicians promise us they'll do?

I believe the Tories will do things they promise to do for landowners: trespass laws, fox hunting etc., I don't think they'll do stuff like build hospitals.

I believe that most of the moderate Tories have quit or kicked out and their replacements are a lot nastier and very likely to vote for trespass laws, limits on the power of courts to review decisions by government ministers and remove powers from Scottish Parliament.

Presley Whippet 26 Nov 2019
In reply to spenser:

Thank you. A manifesto pledge is a long way from legislation best to nip it in the bud. 

The clause would also effect campervan owners quite heavily. 

mrphilipoldham 26 Nov 2019
In reply to dread-i:

I'd like to see most landowners, their staff or indeed police keeping up with a well warmed up fell runner! 

2
David Riley 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

The police could probably deal with travellers without a new law.  I've witnessed them setting up camp in the middle of an industrial estate, bonfires burning new holes in the road tarmac night after night, while openly stealing all their electricity from the street lights, and dumping waste, in full view of the police.

spenser 26 Nov 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

I think that was pretty much what I said but more detailed, either way it's correct so I'll agree with you.

spenser 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I quite agree, I noted the campervan and crag access issues (what would happen to guidebook authors for venues like the slate quarries which would presumably fall under this?).

Harry Jarvis 26 Nov 2019
In reply to David Riley:

The police have already said they oppose the criminalisation of trespass with regard to gypsies and travellers. 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/14/police-oppose-traveller-and-gypsy-camp-crackdown-foi-shows

David Riley 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

Yes,  the police need to deal with the many things that are illegal now.

DancingOnRock 26 Nov 2019
In reply to spenser:

It’s still civil though. The police can’t arrest  or charge the trespasser with anything. 

spenser 26 Nov 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

 Ok, I get the difference now. 

Rog Wilko 27 Nov 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Trespass is a civil law. If you ask someone to leave and they do, then no further action. If they don’t then you have to take legal action against them.

Agreed. I was also told that the sign "Trespassers will be prosecuted" has no validity as an individual cannot prosecute; only the state can do that. "trespassers will be sued" should be the wording. Also, I was told, that trespassing is only an offence if damage is caused, and if threatened with being sued one should offer a silver coin in recompense for ??? to prevent proceedings. Is this a load of rubbish?

wercat 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Rog Wilko:

Trespass is generally a tort or civil wrong.  There have long been exceptions to this where the mere act of being a trespasser has been  criminal, for instance on Railway property or dockyards etc.   Trespass can also form part of a more serious offence, as in burglary or rape.  It can also convert to a crime by aggravating circumstances - eg to disrupt lawful activity, industry or to intimidate.

These have long been exceptions to the general rule of it being a civil wrong and for that reason the sign "trespassers will be prosecuted" has been called "A wooden lie".

The proposed change in the law might, if worded maliciously or carelessly, threaten to widen the scope of criminal trespass from being exceptional to being the general case where the trespass is deliberate, even where the purpose is relatively innocent - walking or camping in the countryside for instance.

Post edited at 10:38
DancingOnRock 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Rog Wilko:

I would just leave immediately. They can’t sue you then. If you return then they’d have to get a solicitor to issue you a writ. At which point you’d probably be wise to contact the solicitor and ask how much they’re planning on suing you for and then get legal advice over what to offer them out of court.

Billhook 27 Nov 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

But they'd have to know your name and address to do this.

Moley 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I think the word "intentional" will cover people for a multitude of sins.

DancingOnRock 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Billhook:

Indeed. Which is why criminalising it is nonsense. Are they going to be sending out police cars to ramblers wandering across fields. It’s laughable. 

Moley 27 Nov 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

Why would ramblers be wandering  across fields?

There's 140,000 miles of ROW and 3.4 million acres of open access in England and Wales, have they got to "intentionally" go elsewhere?

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DancingOnRock 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Moley:

Last year I was following a clearly marked footpath when it stopped and was blocked by a fence. The footpath on the map went through the farmyard. The farmer had decided it didn’t. The road was the other side of the farmyard. There was a big aggressive dog barking at us. 
 

What’s the plan? 
 

Moley 28 Nov 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

If he has deliberately blocked a legal footpath I would climb the blockage and go through. If there's an unchained aggressive dog then you have no option but to round and report him for intentionally blocking a PROW, which I guess you did anyway.

I hardly image the police coming and arresting you in those circumstances, there has to be a modicum of common sense involved.

wercat 28 Nov 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

they could reinforce the right of landowners to make an arrest for the crime in progress - in fact the act of criminalising trespass would allow them to call us all criminals or potential criminals and just exercise the power of citizen's arrest

Post edited at 08:24
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wercat 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Moley:

there isn't much common sense or good intent in the very manifesto commitment

Billhook 28 Nov 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

You have a legal right to remove as much of the blockage as needed to pass.  I've done this with a large barbed wire fence placed across a FP.  

The owner called the police so I waited around.  Police came and asked what was happening.  The farmer accused me of criminal damage.  The police asked me why, so I told them I couldn't get over the wire.  They called their boss, and after a short while they told the farmer he shouldn't obstruct a public highway, please don't do it again or he'd be arrested and/or be visited again.

Post edited at 13:13
ebdon 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Moley:

To get to a crag?

DancingOnRock 28 Nov 2019
In reply to wercat:

Currently you just get into arguments with landowners who brandish shotguns and claim there’s no footpath. You're likely to  see an increase in arguments with farmers placing ramblers under citizens arrest as well. 

Moley 28 Nov 2019
In reply to ebdon:

> To get to a crag?

I take it there is currently no right of way to the crag  and I presume nobody has thought to approach the landowner and ask permission for access? Sort of be the obvious and decent thing to do.

If the answer is no you can't, then you either take your chances or accept you shouldn't be there and go elsewhere. You shouldn't be accessing it now over private ground, so maybe the landowner is getting p****d off with people wandering about, climbing fences, and whatever. Perhaps negotiate access or even pay the landowner?

5
Moley 28 Nov 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Currently you just get into arguments with landowners who brandish shotguns and claim there’s no footpath. You're likely to  see an increase in arguments with farmers placing ramblers under citizens arrest as well. 

Oh please, not the brandishing shotguns thing. Show me a landowner who has brandished a shotgun (I presume in a threatening manner, or it is irrelevant) and not been reported to the police and faced the consequences. If he hasn't been reported then the walker (or whoever) is an idiot.

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DancingOnRock 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Moley:

Happened to a group of my friends. Who pulled out their warrant cards...

Lots of landowners wandering around with shotguns.

Round my way there are even signs saying dogs found worrying sheep will be shot. 

Anyway. That’s an aside. You’re not going to make discussions over rights of way easier if the Landowner is going to threaten to lock you in his barn for a few hours while waiting for the police to turn up. Then there’s the common assault problems and his word against yours etc etc. 
 

It won’t make law as it’s totally impractical. 

Will Hunt 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

It has to be said that the manifesto pledge makes it very clear who the intended target of any new legislation would be. It says nothing about people going onto private land while undertaking recreation.

"We will tackle unauthorised traveller camps. We will give the police new powers to arrest and seize the property and vehicles of trespassers who set up unauthorised encampments, in order to protect our communities. We will make intentional trespass a criminal offence, and we will also give councils greater powers within the planning system."

I think it unlikely that the commons (and I'm almost certain it wouldn't pass the Lords) would pass an act which also made straying off a footpath etc illegal. Based on what the manifesto (crock of shit that it is) gives us, I'd have thought the debate should really be about whether it is right to criminalise travellers.

1
Will Hunt 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Moley:

> Why would ramblers be wandering  across fields?

> There's 140,000 miles of ROW and 3.4 million acres of open access in England and Wales, have they got to "intentionally" go elsewhere?

What an incredibly f*ckwitted thing to say on a climbing forum.

Post edited at 15:40
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DancingOnRock 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Will Hunt:

They will also use this law to criminalise squatters and evict tenants from houses. 
 

It’s not a great idea and it’ll be misused. 

Post edited at 15:59
summo 28 Nov 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Lots of landowners wandering around with shotguns.

Maybe Lord farrquar, but most farmers are too busy killing themselves doing 70, 80, 90 hrs weeks to even dream of a stroll around their manor with a gun.

> Round my way there are even signs saying dogs found worrying sheep will be shot. 

That's probably the only threat some dog owners will understand and put their dog on lead.  I spoke to some people whose dog was running wild in swaledale last May, apparently they weren't aware because they were from Bournemouth! 

Post edited at 16:09
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Bulls Crack 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Moley:

The majority of our public rights of way come into existence by unchallenged trespass 'as of use' 

Moley 28 Nov 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Happened to a group of my friends. Who pulled out their warrant cards...

> Lots of landowners wandering around with shotguns.

> Round my way there are even signs saying dogs found worrying sheep will be shot. 

> Anyway. That’s an aside. You’re not going to make discussions over rights of way easier if the Landowner is going to threaten to lock you in his barn for a few hours while waiting for the police to turn up. Then there’s the common assault problems and his word against yours etc etc. 

> It won’t make law as it’s totally impractical. 

Well your friends did the right thing, if they were threatened then I presume the person lost his gun licence.

Landowners wandering around with shotguns are doing it for a purpose (to shoot something), people don't just wander about with guns for no reason and certainly don't have the time.

Dogs being shot for sheep worrying is fine by me and legal. Good to have been given a warning first.

I find the whole "landowners brandishing shotguns" stereotyping unnecessary and unhelpful. I can only go on my experiences; having worked as a firearm licensing officer from 2000 - 2012, in a rural county with the highest gun ownership per capita in UK, loads of commercial shoots with landowners and gamekeepers, I don't once recall a single report of threatening behaviour to walkers etc. involving firearms. It would have come to me to deal with. Perhaps your area is more volatile.

In 30 years of running and walking many thousands of miles through rural Wales, I have only once had an irate farmer - and that was a group of us going over his farm during foot and mouth - a rather sensitive time. Nearly all farmers are good as gold.

4
In reply to DancingOnRock:

They were talking about criminalising squatting a while ago. I went on TV to point out that the legislation proposed was stupid and wouldn’t work, that the behaviour it sought to address was already criminal, and that the problem was that the police were useless. I haven’t been asked back. When I asked my wife what she thought of my performance she replied loyally, ‘Well, your shirt looked very nice’.

jcm

fred99 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Will Hunt:

> It has to be said that the manifesto pledge makes it very clear who the intended target of any new legislation would be. It says nothing about people going onto private land while undertaking recreation.

However, unless any legislation is extremely well worded, then it will extend far beyond the manifesto pledge.

You're assuming that the Tories will firstly honour their manifesto pledge to the letter, and not extend any laws afterwards due to "hints" from the landed gentry. And then that secondly, they will word it such that NO landowner could possibly infer that any person "undertaking recreation" could ever be confused with the "intended target".

I'm afraid that we're more likely to greet visitors from Mars than have both those provisos properly catered for.

GerM 30 Nov 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

If such a law were to be passed I wonder how it would affect the different countries within the UK?

I guess Scotland might be safe due to it's different legal system, things a bit clearer in England, but what would happen in Wales? Seems such a law would certainly affect issues in devolved areas, but may well not fall into any of these specifically?

wercat 01 Dec 2019
In reply to GerM:

round here The Reaction struck after labour's right to roam was introduced.  In various places where people have wandered on and off footpaths signs appeared warning folk "To keep to the footpath!" where there was some give and take before.  The Quid pro Quo, presumably, for guaranteed access for all is less freedom to roam where roaming was easy before.  I'm quite sure that there are folk round here who would love a power of arrest.

StockportAl 02 Dec 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I can see this proposal, if it saw the light of day, being used against those who like to wild camp. With a few exceptions it is not legal in England & Wales, and where it is tolerated it is either through a local by-law or understanding. Camping on access land without the permission of the land owner is deemed to be trespass, ergo going onto access land with camping gear could be seen as intentional trespass. All the more reason to vote to depose the torys. 

wercat 03 Dec 2019
In reply to StockportAl:

There was a saying decades ago that politically motivated legislation made bad law and this certainly looks politically motivated as it appears in the Self Servative/StoryParty Manifesto.

All kinds of unfairness and extension outside the original concept has happened in the past with ideological legislation. 


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