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Mass Trespass

Advice to land owners, occupiers and others affected in the West Mercia Constabulary area.

This document has been prepared to offer advice and assistance from the Police to landowners and occupiers who suffer mass trespass.

Obtaining possession of land which is subject to mass trespass....

Civil Law possession or prevention of tresspass
The following may be used to pre-empt trespass:-

  • High Court Injunction

  • County Court Injunction

To recover possession of land following trespass

  • High Court Possession Order

  • County Court Possession Order

Criminal Law Possession

Police have discretionary powers under the Public Order Act 1986, which are complicated by several provisos, and furthermore, do not apply to all land. The power is confined to the removal of persons NOT vehicles. The power will not normally be used if the result is merely a second trespass nearby.

Self help remedies within the Law....

The Civil Law allows landowners and occupiers to take precautions and try to prevent trespassing.

However, extreme or aggressive action may put the landowner on the wrong side of the law, and leave him/her liable to civil or criminal action.

Prevention of access

Barricading of entrances is permitted, provided that:-

  1. rights of way are not obstructed; and

  2. care is taken that no injury is caused to trespassers (Occupiers Liability Act 1984).

Tree trunks and farm machinery may be used to block entrances.

Ditches which are owned by the occupier may be used to deter access, but should not be concealed.

Direct Action

Occupiers are advised NOT to take direct action against trespassers.

Rural Watch Schemes in the West Mercia Police area....

Rural Watch Schemes are being set up to cover the whole of the Force area in conjunction with the National Farmers Union. Their purpose is to provide two-way information between the police and rural communities not only about the likelihood of mass trespass but also about other types of rural crime, such as thefts of livestock and farm machinery, poaching and criminal damage.

West Mercia Constabulary encourage all rural dwellers to form or join a Rural Watch Scheme in their area. Further information is available from your local Police or the National Farmers Union.

Assistance available from other organisations....

District Councils
Advice and assistance on matters such as noise pollution, environmental health and stray dogs.

County Councils
Advice on County Council owned land and Social Services.

1st May. 1998