Removing Squatters and Protecting a Property From Damage in East London
- Illegal entry to site
- Criminal damage
An international property developer’s industrial site in East London was squatted and Secure Empty Property instructed to attend the site, with the eviction team, at 07:00 on 27th September 2016 to enforce a Possession Order.
The site comprised of a large warehouse and open site area behind a high brick wall planned for demolition. However, palisade gates enabled easy visibility onto the site and barbed-wire to the top of the wall did not afford significant protection. The East London location is known for the activity of criminal gangs, together with illegal activity around property and the site had been occupied to store large quantities of stolen goods.
Secure Empty Property attended the eviction with a K9 dog handler security guard and alarm installation team and the squatters removed from site. The static 24-hour guard was backed up with external CCTV verified temporary intruder alarm system with remote monitoring and lone-worker protection.
However, later the same day, intruders were prevented accessing the site again over rooftops and the police were instructed to attend as a large gang was congregating outside the site in an intimidating manner. The gang were using an illegally parked caravan adjacent to the site so they had clear visibility of all activity at the property.
Working closely with the police, the client and their solicitor, Secure Empty Property provided daily reports from site as issues and attacks on the site continued. However, the dog handler team remained on site whilst the site was cleared of the squatters possessions and the local Bow East Neighborhood Police Team increased patrols providing a local contact rather than ‘999’. The site remained vacant whilst the demolition contractor become available and the scaffold license was granted by Tower Hamlets.
To minimize cost, the K9 dog guard was reduced to hours of darkness with two additional mobile patrols over the day. The use of Live-in Guardians and Caretakers was investigated however the lack of services and facilities on site – together with the relatively short vacant period before demolition - made this security option unsuitable.
On 6th March, the Secure Empty Property intruder alarm detected activity on site and a fast-response team attended to discover the site padlocks had been cut. CCTV images showed a vehicle backing onto the site at 11:33 in broad daylight. The intruders fly-tipped building rubble and secured the site with their own padlock. The images suggested they were the same squatters as were previously evicted and these images were made available to the police. Nevertheless, the 24-hour guard was reinstated to maintain security prior to disposal of the site. The use of temporary concrete barriers (TVCB) was proposed to prevent vehicle access onto site however, the site was sold on 10th March.
Each response to client requests or response to criminal activity was same day.
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