unauthorized camping

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The summary offence of camping in vehicles on land without the consent of the occupier, or on land forming part of a highway, or on any other unoccupied land and failing to comply with a direction to leave by the local authority (Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 s 77). It is also an offence to re-enter the land within three months. The local authority may direct the removal of vehicles or any other property; it may also apply to a magistrates' court for an order authorizing removal. A vehicle does not have to be fit for use on the roads and includes any body or chassis, with or without wheels, and any caravan. Both the offences are punishable by a fine on level 3. Defences of illness, mechanical breakdown, or immediate emergency may be available. Local authorities may establish caravan sites for gipsies but are no longer under a duty to do so. See also trespass.

Subjects: Law.

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