Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, met with residents this week when inspecting a house in Hove that was recently vacated by squatters.
Mike was visiting the property on Hove Park Road, which had been taken over by squatters, after having been contacted by frustrated neighbours following a spate of anti-social behaviour. The Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act criminalises squatting and comes into force on 1st September. However, the law only covers squatting in residential properties.
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.
Commenting, Mike said: “This is just another example of freeloaders behaving badly and making the lives of those around them a misery. I’ve yet to have any residents get in touch praising squatters for improving their neighbourhood. Thankfully from 1st September the Police will be able to take immediate action when squatters take over a residential property, which was welcome news to residents of Hove Park Road.”