Activities of ‘urban explorers’ are on the rise and we have seen the Courts grant prohibitory injunctions usually against ‘persons unknown’ prohibiting trespass on private land and, in particular climbing tall buildings or structures.

Once granted any breach will be in contempt of Court and punishable by imprisonment or fine.

Whilst these injunctions are intended, and usually do, act as a warning to prevent unwanted trespass that is not always the case as shown recently where, in breach of an injunction, an individual (George King-Thompson) recently climbed the Shard without ropes or protective equipment.

The owners of the Shard took enforcement action against King-Thompson who admitted being in contempt of Court and was sentenced by the High Court.

This recent case shows how it can be beneficial to obtain the protection of a prohibitory injunctions and acts as a reminder that they do work in practice and perhaps will now be even more of a deterrent in light of this case.

The real estate disputes team at CMS have recent experience in obtaining injunctions against ‘persons unknown’ on a quia timet basis (i.e. to restain wrongful acts which are threatened or imminent but have not yet commenced) and are available to assist on any similar matters.