Recent Legislation in September 2012 has now made it a criminal offence to squat in residential properties. This has led to an increase in squatters targeting empty / closed commercial premises, with closed pubs becoming a prime target.
In the current economic climate, with dozens of pubs closing every week, this type of premises has become very attractive due to its ideal living accommodation.
Pubs are regarded as a local amenity, so when one closes the news spreads very quickly. The change in the law has created an additional risk , beyond the expected risks of metal strip-out, that of squatting. This isn’t new for commercial premises, but has been highlighted by the law change.