Other Names: Trespassers
Nature: Criminal trespass is illegally entering into or remaining in a building or structure. This is distinguished from burglary by the fact that no other crime is intended.
Background: In countries like the UK in which most land is somebody's property, following the enclosure of common land, trespass has been recognized as a dispute between individuals rather than a crime against society, although breaking and entry is a crime. Because of the lack of provision for those without a place to live, the existence of a grey area in relation to trespass has been essential to the provision of a legal "stopping place" where the underprivileged could stake a temporary claim.
Incidence: In the UK in 1994 it was estimated that over 100,000 people were likely to be living semi-legally on somebody else's property. These include gypsies and squatters.
Problem Type: D: Detailed problems
Date of last update 01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET