Sunday, 27 November 2011

Squatters blight!

 Two police officers simply were not enough to handle the 50+ squatters in the house. Back up was needed!
 Even with four officers the occupants of the house vastly outnumbered the police.

The Police van gave local residents some solace and comfort.  It was clear the police were taking local concern seriously. 

Today, faced with the increasing crime on my street, I belligerently called the local Safer Neighbourhood Team and the new non-emergency Police telephone number 101, seeking help.  My local woes arose around 3 weeks ago after a group of Eastern European squatters broke into a house just two doors away from me.  I called the police after seeing 2 vehicles turn up and load cables and a significant number of power tools into the illegally occupied house.

The property had been vacated only 3 months earlier.  The much loved elderly resident (of in excess of 80 years of age), who had resided in the property since the 1950's, health had deteriorated to such an extent that she had to be relocated to a local care home.  Her son managed to obtain her agreement to sell her adored property, at which she had spent her entire married life, in part to support the cost of her care.

The son duly contacted estate agents who failed to assess the threat to security, that installing "for sale"signs would indubitably beckon.

I met with the son, himself in his late fifties and concerned about his mother's declining health.  He was  distraught at the news of the defilement of his parental home, a concern that he intended to shield his mother from.  Moreover, after communicating his concern to local police, he discovered great indifference, leaving him the unique option of undertaking a lengthy civil action, whilst over 50 people camped in his home.  They are currently causing damage to the property, using the location for alleged drug trafficking and before my yes have been stashing lots of stolen property including telephone cable and a plethora of power tools.  This family have not only suffered the ignominy of the invasion of the sanctity of their home, but have now had to endure a wholly unjustified elongated period of forced occupation.

Two police officers originally entered the hallway of the house today.  As they approached a few of the squatters standing in the doorway rapidly left in an ensuing panic that was darkly humorous. The police walked into the very accessible building, at which the front door remains open till 22:00 most days.  Streams of squatters left the property (at least 20) whilst the police were confronted by a number no less than 20, who prevented further progress into the property.  I took pictures of the scurrying scoundrels at this point, comforted by the police presence.  One man accosted me and questioned me on whether I had called the police.

In my temporary emboldened state I replied;

"You have picked the wrong road for your scheming, this street has a close community and we will not sit back and watch you undertake crimes.  I suggest you leave and go somewhere where residents are less observant."

He seemed surprised and shocked by my response, but still glared at me whilst he rushed into his van with his female partner.

I overheard the police questioning them on the legality of their presence within the home. The squatters responded by stating that they had an agreed tenancy.  Of course, when asked documentary evidence they failed to do so.

I felt concerned for the safety of the two police officer's who duly of their own accord called a supporting Police van.  The police acted bravely and professionally and whilst they laboured with the squatters I called one to my home.  The Constable revealed to me that the same large group of squatters had been moved from several previous properties in the ward and had similarly undertaken a number of local crimes.  The Police could not arrest or evict anyone as a court hearing for their eviction was now scheduled for Tuesday morning, at Ilford County Court.  Worse still, the property could not b checked for stolen property due to the lack of a warrant.

Since the escapade the unsavoury elements living with the property have been staring menacingly at my wife and I, whenever we leave the home.

Disturbed by this recent event I am holding a community meeting, to discuss what we can do to stop this growing local malaise.  The meeting will be held on the Thursday 1st December from 19:30, at 14 Connaught Road (off Green Lane).

I have also created an electronic petition calling changes in statute to protect communities and individuals from the repercussions of this galling crime:


  1. I hope you and your family are ok I have signed
    Mary kirk

  2. Hi Wilson,

    Did you know that squatters get Council Tax Benefit if they're eligible?? I'm a Benefit Officer (at a neighbouring borough, not Redbridge) and recently had a customer who told me she was squatting. I called our Council Tax Dept who informed me that they do put the Council Tax in the name of the squatter, which means that, as they have a liability, if they meet all the other criteria, then we have to pay them Council Tax Benefit! Obviously we don't pay Housing Benefit as they have no rental liability, but I think it's disgusting that they get any sort of benefit!!



  3. Sorry, I cant make it but what an exeptionally important issue. Change in legislation should be started to make squatting a criminal offence so that the squatters can be forcibly removed immediately. The principal of squatting is outdated and abused. There are websites available to bring issues like this to the attention of the Government, 38 is an example - a site that was recently berated as attracting "zombie like" users. by an MP.

    I will bring this situation to their attention and see if we can start a national debate. May not help the old lady but worth a try.

    Kerk Davies

    Chair, South Woodford Business Partnership

  4. Dear Mr. Chowdhry. I was very sorry to hear about the squatters in the old ladies home. Thinking about making squatting illegal is hardly enough!.

    As you know, I attend the police ward meetings on a Monday evening, will bring the issue up there. Unfortunately Isaac and I will not be able to attend your meeting on Thursday but would be interested in the outcome. Kindest regards xxxx


  6. Mark Dawes (Walthamstow and Redbridge Green Party)30 November 2011 at 06:00

    Hi Wilson

    This is not squatting. Breaking into and occupying a person's residential home is illegal now and the police could take immediate action and arrest the people concerned. In these cases, eviction notices and civil action should not be necessary but the police seem to be misinformed and/or are deliberately passing the buck. We have had similar cases in Waltham Forest with similar police inaction. The proposed law change on squatting will not make any difference because these people are not squatting but "claiming" they are legal tenants.

    and the comments from idonex who clearly quotes the law and is as baffled as I am why the police are not acting immediately and misleading people into thinking they need to take civil action. People should not think that if their house is occupied when on holiday for example, that they need to take civil action and wait for eviction notices etc.

    The police really need to take firm immediate action on these people to stop it happening and not let these people go from home to home and just being evicted each time.


  7. Hi Wilson,
    The mindless M P's who have opened our borders to UNCONTROLLED immigration would have never had done it had it affected their lives!

    All the best Ian

  8. MP Mike Weatherly's PA1 December 2011 at 10:44

    Dear Mr Chowdhry,

    Mr Weatherley has asked me to thank you for your email. Mike has been extremely active in his campaign to criminalise squatting. Details can be found on his website -

    If the individual residents need help they will have to contact their own Members of Parliament, as strict parliamentary protocol dictates that MPs only raise issues on behalf of their own constituents.

    Thanks again for taking the trouble to get in touch.

    Kind regards,


    Researcher to Mike Weatherley MP

  9. i have had squatters near to me for eight years police said it was a council matter ,council told me to contact police.they only acted when a man was stabbed in the property .a policeman told me that he nearly died.there was no mention of the incident in any local paper.the property was boarded up half heartedly and the squatters are back.local estate agents say my property which i own and pay council tax on would be worth about £300,000 but wjth squatters next door it is virtually unsellable....

  10. We are ALL squatters!