Injunctions and trespass: Urban explorers and stunt bikers

29th August 2018

Sometimes, a possession order is not much use for getting rid of trespassers. Injunctions are more use than possession orders in a number of situations. For example, there will be places such as shopping centres where law abiding members of the public are welcome, and where the last thing the landlord wants to do is shut those areas down and fence them off. There may be cases where there is brief or transitory trespass on large sites, where the trespasser comes in, does something, and goes again. Or alternatively, there may be threats to both people and property.

The advantage of an injunction is that it will carry criminal penalties if it is breached – a very serious deterrent effect.

There have been two important cases on this subject this year:

Canary Wharf Investments v Brewer (23 February 2018, High Court)

In Canary Wharf the landlord was suffering from trespass on their estate by ‘urban explorers’. The ‘explorers’ were climbing up and on buildings, cranes, and other objects – and of course putting videos of their antics on the internet.

The trespassers encouraged other people to do the same by explaining how they had obtained access to the landlord’s supposedly secure sites.

A possession order was not much use to the landlord – as the trespassers were only on the site very briefly each time – so the High Court granted interim injunctions to prevent the trespass.

Intu Milton Keynes v Taylor (19 April 2018, High Court)

In this case, stunt bikers were doing stunts on vehicles in shopping centres. They were then confronting staff in an aggressive way, and, inevitably, putting videos of their antics on the internet.

The High Court again granted injunctions to stop the trespassers. As set out above, anyone who breaches an injunction can be liable to criminal penalties. It is a very serious deterrent.

If you or your property have been affected by these issues, or if you have been invaded by urban explorers or stunt bikers, get in touch with one of our expert lawyers. Call us now on +44 (0)20 7354 3000 or email

This blog is an edited version taken from a training webinar given by Michael Large of Colman Coyle to LexisNexis (a leading supplier of training to lawyers) on 16 July 2018.