Clinks response: Home Office consultation on strengthening police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments
This response sets out our concerns of the Home Office’s proposals to criminalise unauthorised encampments. We warn that the measures proposed will further exacerbate the current overrepresentation of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people in contact with the criminal justice system, as well as criminalising increasing numbers of homeless people. We recommend that the Home Office should not criminalise unauthorised encampments, and instead work with Local Authorities to ensure more authorised sites for Travellers are built; and work cross-departmentally to end rough sleeping.
This short response focusses on the questions of most relevance to our work and that of our members, and we have been guided by the issues identified by Friends, Families and Travellers and Homeless Link.