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Page last updated at 07:40 GMT, Friday, 31 August 2012 08:40 UK

Squatter: 'I am not a criminal'

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From tomorrow, squatters residing in any empty residential property in England and Wales will face a maximum six months in jail, and a £5,000 fine.

Katy Kennedy, a teacher and squatter for the past 10 months, said she does not consider herself to be a criminal.

"I think the crime is leaving buildings empty when there is a shortage of houses," she told the Today programme.

She said she does not have a back-up plan when the law comes into force at midnight tonight.

"I just don't understand why this legislation is coming into force," she said.

Chris Town, vice chairman of the Residential Landlords Association, said that when someone moves in to a property illegaly it excludes any legitimate use of the property.

"You are excluded from your own possession effectively," he told John Humphrys.


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