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Increased level of unauthorised site occupation

10 February 2017

Last year saw a total of 3,481 travellers' caravans located on unauthorised properties, according to government statistics, compared to 2,660 in 2014.

With approximately 100,000 people living on the road or at sites, the government estimates the number of traveller caravans in the UK to be around 21,000.

Changes to the law in England and Wales in 2012, which saw squatting in residential buildings made illegal, have seen a rise in the targeting of commercial premises.

Numbers of legal proceedings against caravans, squats and illegal raves are estimated to have doubled over the last five years.

Property services company VPS is advising landowners and estate managers to improve their security measures to avoid the cost of removal and clean up following unauthorised occupation.

"An increasing trend of the unlawful occupation of a site causes many problems for landowners, both economically and environmentally," said VPS' Carlos Rosa.

"There's often a considerable clean-up cost after an eviction of unlawful travellers or squatters, which sometimes amounts to a six figure sum," he said.

Mr Rosa further stated that protection measures "will far outweigh" the expense of removing travellers from a site and cleaning up afterwards.


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