What an unauthorised encampment is, how to report one and what we'll do

What an unauthorised encampment is

An unauthorised encampment or site is where people set up home on land without the landowner's permission. This can be private or local authority land.

What you can do

You can use our online form to report an unauthorised encampment

What you can report 

You can report:

  • unauthorised encampments on public roads or land such as parks and green spaces, or private land
  • concern about the welfare of residents in an unauthorised encampment  
  • fly tipping, fly-grazing, or other anti social behaviour because of an unauthorised encampment

What happens after you report an unauthorised encampment

When we have your report we'll:

  • visit the site within a day of it being reported so we can check if its on public or private land
  • notify the group that they are trespassing
  • carry out welfare assessments and ensure that the group are visited by a health visitor or community liaison and education officer
  • start the legal process of moving the group on or working with the families to make other arrangements 

How we manage unauthorised encampments policy

What we've done so far

Bristol City Council and Avon and Somerset Police have produced a joint protocol which gives guidance for dealing with unauthorised encampments and which includes guidance from both the Department for Communities and Local Government Go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dealing-with-illegal-and-unauthorised-encampments (opens new window) (DCLG) and the most recent police guidance from ACPO, now called the National Police Chiefs Council Go to https://www.npcc.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/publications/publications-log/2022/operational-advice-trespassing-on-land-without-consent-unauthorised-encampments.pdf?_t_id=N3xGQ5wQ3p7uDzLD5jSHUA%3d%3d&_t_uuid=uZ9WKwU0QEiM5ZeKF73d1A&_t_q=unauthorised+encampments&_t_tags=language%3aen%2csiteid%3a3130f8ed-b1e8-4a26-ad29-148e2941a2bd%2candquerymatch&_t_hit.id=Cds_Soh_Web_Models_Media_GenericMedia/_ba7bada0-9e68-4bfc-94af-3cbf71717b8f_en-GB&_t_hit.pos=1 (opens new window)(NPCC).

The Neighbourhood Enforcement Team have consulted and published a pdf policy for vehicle dwelling encampments on the highway (269 KB) .