Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, is poised to see his parliamentary work on the criminalisation of squatting, dubbed by squatters as “Weatherley’s Law”, come into force on Saturday 1st September.
After a long campaign to thwart the anti-social practice, squatting in residential premises will be illegal from 1st September. Offenders who break the law will face a fine and even jail. The maximum penalty will be a Ł5,000 fine, six months in jail, or both. The Ministry of Justice estimates that there are up to 50,000 squatters in the UK and that around 350-2,000 will be prosecuted every year under Mike’s legislation.
Mike has been campaigning for squatting to be criminalised since his election to Parliament in 2010 and has been supported by the Prime Minister, as well as his colleague the Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP, Secretary of State for Justice. Squatting is a huge problem in Brighton & Hove, with numerous instances of this organised and frequently menacing behaviour blighting the lives of ordinary people. Irate squatters have dubbed the new law “Weatherley’s Law” following Mike’s campaign to introduce the new legislation.
Commenting, Mike said: “It has been a lengthy and complicated process, but I am thrilled to finally see the bill that I worked so hard on to finally come into force as a new piece of legislation. Residents across the country will no longer have to worry that their homes will be unprotected by the law. The police will now have the power to arrest squatters right away for being in someone else’s property.”