The Government’s proposal to criminalise trespass to residential property, contained in LASPO at clause 136, is due to be considered at report stage in the House of Lords tomorrow (Tuesday 20 March). The Government’s estimate of additional costs arising from the proposal is £25 million over 5 years.
SQUASH have obtained a report on the likely costs of the proposal, highlighting the shortcomings of the MoJ’s costings. The research takes into account knock on costs to other Departments and to Local Authorities. It outlines a range of scenarios that may result from the criminalisation and estimates the likely costs at between £316 million and £790 million.
The Guardian has further details here.
Given that LASPO is intended to be a costs savings bill, cutting some £350 million from civil legal aid, it seems somewhat reckless to tack on a largely unnecessary measure, (which although promoted as protecting homeowners will do nothing of the sort), on the basis of limited and faulty costings. If the SQUASH figures are anything like accurate, the cost savings of LASPO are, at the least, wiped out.