Trespass to be made a criminal offence

Yesterday (20 October 2021) the Telegraph reported that the government’s new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is expected to criminalise the offence of intentional trespass with the aim of ‘protecting the law-abiding majority from disruption and harm’.

This is perhaps misleading, as some forms of trespass are already criminal offences, for example trespass on residential land (subject to specific criteria) and trespass on non-residential land where other criminal offences (like fly-tipping) are committed during the trespass. The new offences will presumably criminalise trespass on public/common land where there is no owner in occupation to immediately deal with the trespass, while also increasing the punishment for existing criminal trespass offences.