Travellers who leave piles of rubbish and cause noise could face up to three months in prison under a government crackdown.
Priti Patel, the home secretary, is set to announce additions to the controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
The changes are targeted at those who set up camp illegally on private or public land, and will cover “excessive littering, noise or smell”, the Home Office said.
Individuals could be prosecuted if they verbally intimidate local residents, and Travellers could face prosecution if locals “fear leaving their house to avoid walking past an encampment”, The Times reported.
The maximum sentence will be three months in prison, £2,500 in fines – or both.
Patel told the newspaper: “No one should have unchecked rights to trespass on other people’s land — or cause boundless misery to local communities without consequence.
“This new offence for unauthorised encampments is about giving the police the right powers and flexibility to protect the law-abiding majority from disruption and harm.”
The home secretary on Wednesday admitted the recruitment of black police officers has been “stubbornly slow” as she vowed to try to improve representation in the “top jobs”.
Patel said forces “should be diverse” and although there have been “substantial gains” in Greater Manchester Police, Surrey and Nottinghamshire, warned: “Progress on the recruitment of black officers has been stubbornly slow and we know we have so much more to do.”
Speaking to the National Black Police Association’s annual conference, Patel said she still faces racism and sexism “today”, adding: “And I know that you have all had your own similar experiences.”
In a recorded speech played to the audience on Wednesday, she said there was “still far too much for all of us to do” to address “active hostility to someone who looks like you being in the police. Both on and off the beat”, adding “we still need to improve representation in the police, very much including in the top jobs”.
The proportion of officers in England and Wales who identify as black and Asian stands at 7.6 per cent – the highest percentage since records began.
In the year to June, more than 11 per cent of officers recruited were from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Nationally, around a third of officers are female – also the highest proportion on record – Patel told delegates, adding: “A larger proportion of female officers from ethnic minority backgrounds are in lower ranking roles compared to white officers.”
Police bosses “vary in how seriously they take this issue”, she said, adding that this needs to change “immediately”, adding: “I want you to know that you are pushing at an open door with me.
“There needs to be major and enduring change.”