Under consideration PE2060: Review existing legislation and legal remedies against trespassers

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to review and revise existing legislation to offer better protection against trespassers.

Previous action taken

I have contacted my local MSP Gordon MacDonald who, after contacting the Scottish Government, received a generic response on the right to roam.

I have also sought legal advice and advice from Police Scotland.

Background information

The current legislation in Scotland is poorly understood by laypeople with many people believing they have universal, unrestricted right of way over private property. It provides excessive protection to those abusing it.

Current legal remedies against trespassers often means costly court action or, alternatively asking trespassers to leave with little immediate power. This means that those experiencing persistent or hostile trespassers often find themselves with significant expenses to preserve their privacy and the integrity of their home. Additionally, a trespasser is owed a duty of care even if all reasonable/affordable steps have been taken to secure property against them.

Suggested actions:

  1. Absolve homeowners of responsibility for injuries or inconvenience caused to trespassers

  2. Allow easier access to interdicts

  3. Permit criminal charges for demonstrable distress (especially to vulnerable people)

  4. Lower evidential bars to prove trespass

These suggestions are hypothetical in the hope the Scottish Government can find more acceptable solutions if appropriate.

  • Created by Daithi Broad
  • Considered from 31 October 2023
  • Petitions can collect signatures until the petition has been closed

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