East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight is one of a number of MPs calling on the Government to make trespassing a criminal offence to more effectively prevent unauthorised occupation of private land.

The call follows news that since 2010 that the number of unauthorised traveller caravans on private property has increased, including by a staggering 20% in 2017, with hare coursing also increasing.

Sir Greg says “A new criminal power would provide a quick method of dealing with unauthorised encroachments on private land, in contrast to the current civil remedy, which is limited in scope and requires a cumbersome recourse to the courts.

Sir Greg adds: “Farmers and other landowners deserve a system that enforces the law quickly and fairly to all. Unauthorised trespass is an increasing problem, and all too often is accompanied by noise, litter, anti-social behaviour and damage to property”.

“This simple change would mean the police could take action swiftly and effectively rather than local communities having to wait for a long-winded civil process to take place”.