Activist and protesters can be a significant and costly problem for landlords, landowners and local authorities.
They can be wide ranging – from protests against fracking, runways and by-passes to the occupation of office blocks due to be converted to luxury apartments.
Activists and protesters will do some or even all of the following to your site:
- Damage to buildings – we have seen walls and ceilings pulled down, roof tiles ripped off
- Damage to land – such as tunnelling, blockades, encampments
- Leave behind an enormous amount of detritus
- Call in extra support from other groups, as has happened on many high profile occupations
- Generate negative publicity for your organisation and project
What can you do?
If you need to remove trespassers from your property of land, you (or your solicitor or agent) can apply for a court order for possession under Part 55 Civil Procedure Rules, which is then transferred to the High Court for enforcement by The Sheriffs Office under a Writ of Possession.
There is a court fee of £66 for the transfer and we will manage the process on your behalf for no fee.
If it is only land that is occupied, you also have the option of instructing The Sheriffs Office to remove them under Common Law using our team of Certificated Bailiffs without a court order. The land must be identified on a Land Registry Map or Local Authority Plan.
Risk assessment and specialist access
We always recommend that a risk assessment be carried out before taking action, even more so in the case of protesters, as it is highly likely that specialist equipment will be needed to remove them where they have locked themselves onto structures or cemented themselves in, as well as professional teams of tunnellers, abseilers, tree climbers, to mention just a few.
If the site requires access by water, we have an experienced fully trained team in this area and will obtain any necessary permits, as well as the equipment.
Securing the site
Once the protesters have been removed, it is essential to thoroughly secure the site to prevent future occupation and /or disruption. This may include a perimeter wall or fence, security guards, possibly with dogs, CCTV and remote monitoring.
Our expert Security team will advise our clients on the best way to secure their site to prevent reoccupation. Our Security team are also available to advise on measures you should take to prevent occupation in the first instance.