Camping and caravan holidaymakers could be slapped with jail time if new bill is passed

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Many Britons are beginning to look for new ways to explore the UK on a budget. However, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill could soon see some forms of travel slapped with severe consequences.

According to experts, the new bill said to be focus primarily on protestors, could also have major implications for “tens of thousands of unpolitical British citizens who ‘wild camp’ in campervans, motorhomes, caravans, or similar vehicles.”

The impact of this bill could affect camper van and caravaners who choose to wild camp, people embarking on the “van life” movement who do not pitch up in official holiday parks and “Staycationers” who choose to travel in their own vehicles or rented campervans and motorhomes.

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The new bill could also impact traditional nomadic communities, such as Irish Travellers and “New Age travellers”.

Wild camping in England and Wales is already illegal, although it is legal in Scotland as long as visitors follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

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In a bid to see the bill overturned or rewritten, a collective of van life and wild camping enthusiasts have come together to launch a petition.

Currently, in Wales and England campers must ask the permission of a landowner before pitching up.

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Those found to be in breach of the rule will be found of committing trespass.

However, this is a civil offence and therefore cannot result in arrest.

The only way wild campers will currently be arrested is if they refuse to move on when asked to do so.

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If the new bill is passed in its present form, anyone caught flouting wild camping or van restrictions could be slapped with a fine, up to three months in prison and the confiscation of their vehicle and possessions.

For those choosing to live, either permanently or temporarily, from their motorhome, this would mean the loss of their home.

If the new bill is passed in its present form, anyone caught flouting wild camping or van restrictions could be slapped with a fine, up to three months in prison and the confiscation of their vehicle and possessions.

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For those choosing to live, either permanently or temporarily, from their motorhome, this would mean the loss of their home.

Of course, Britons booked onto official campsites or pitching up in designated areas will not be affected by the law.

Nick Rosen, author of How to Live Off-Grid and documentary filmmaker, said: “We urgently need 10,000 signatures to the petition as the government is then forced to respond during the bill’s passage through parliament, giving us a good chance of forcing an amendment.

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“There are upwards of 60,000 people living off-grid in mobile homes of various sorts in the UK.

“Some are taking a break from their normal life, while others live this way permanently.

“Many people don’t realise that the van-dwelling way of life is under direct threat from the bill, at a time when it has never been more popular and necessary.

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“Action is needed urgently to raise awareness and stop this unintended consequence of the crackdown on protesters.”

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