Neglected Leytonstone cop shop squatted with comments

Tony Gosling tony at
Wed Oct 13 22:08:30 BST 2010

Empty Leytonstone police station is taken over by squatters
Felix Allen - Evening Standard - 07Oct10

Squatters have taken over an empty police station 
just days before it was due to be sold for redevelopment.

A group of about 20 men and women have set up 
home in the building in Leytonstone High Road, 
which has not been used since its closure three 
years ago. The Met is trying to sell the site for 
about £1.5 million by the end of this week.

Estate agents Strettons, which is handling the 
sale, said the occupation was a “nightmare”, but 
vowed to continue with a sealed bid auction that closes tomorrow.

The squatters are believed to have moved in a 
week ago and have put up notices claiming legal 
rights. They are thought to have electricity but 
no clean water in the three-storey
Victorian building.

One squatter, who would not give his name, said: 
“We've got about 20 people living here but we're 
not exactly overcrowding the rooms. We're here 
side by side with no rules as such, but values.”

Christine Whitbread, 56, whose flat overlooks the 
station, said: “They've got at least three dogs 
which bark at all times, and they've been coming 
back really late at night and climbing on the walls.”

But another local resident, Pat Howie, 61, said: 
“These people are using a building that's been 
left scandalously empty and otherwise derelict. It can only be a good thing.”

Scotland Yard said today the case had been referred to its lawyers.

Reader views (8)

'Squatting' is a means of using derelict 
buildings and putting them to good use for the 
greater community. Often these squatts are the 
only places for homeless people to go, and if 
done in a conscious fashion, they can really be a 
value to the people. With a little good 
intention, they can be used as Youth Centres or 
meeting places, soup kitchens and a place to hold 
a celebration. There are some heartless, self 
obsessed people who do not want to 'see or hear' 
the 'undesirables' of society, but if there were 
more places for these people to go, with more 
local support, then perhaps they would not be so 
'undesirable' and would feel more self respect, 
and a part of a community. This has endless 
benefits. Noone wants to live nextdoor to an 
all-night rave 7 days a week, or a bunch of 
barking dogs, or a smelly dirty place... but 
depending on the people living there, with a 
little bit of care, consideration and 
organization, these places could be of great 
value... and what's the harm in having a party once a month on a Saturday??

- Chris Lowe, London, UK, 13/10/2010 11:53
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This is probably not about somewhere to live for 
them, it is more likely to be a party crew moving 
in to run parties for [untaxed] commercial gain 
and as a sales outlet for other "enterprises" 
<sniff>. The site may well be tagged, trashed and 
littered with drugs wraps, nitrous cartridges, 
cans and broken bottles before the legal owners 
are able to sell. The local authorities should 
each send a representative to meet with the 
police to eliminate the squat party problem. Move the filthy squatters on.

- Shut down the squats, London, 09/10/2010 00:23
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They are taking the mickie.

sarah, London - "it is a myth that your house can 
be squatted if you are on holiday", what of those 
it has happened to? What of those who move out so 
they can get the place rennovated, those who buy 
a place and don't move into it next day.

All have been documented victims of property 
thieves called squatters. Few (I say that because 
there MAY be some isolated instances where this 
isn't true) have not been faced high costs to put 
right what was damaged, ransacked, stolen or just 
plain ruined by these so-called squatters - 
forget about the legal costs to reclaim what's 
their's. How many squats have been political 
statements, moving into areas of the 'haves' and 
complaining that they 'have not' as their excuse, 
thumbing their noses and making like its a moral 
campaign for the common good rather than their own selfish self interest.

Some bleat about young homeless families, yet how 
many actually live in the squats - yet there's 
benefits warriors aplenty claiming all they can 
for as little as they can who are.

Are all squatters low-lifes? Of course not. 
There's probably a significant minority with no 
other option from their perspective. The ones 
making all the noise though? THEY are the 
majority - THEY are the ones colouring opinion. 
But even for those with nothing left - theft is 
still theft. It is still legally, and more 
importantly, morally wrong - especially in a 
society like Britain where benefits ARE available to those really in need

- Rogan, Irving, 08/10/2010 04:03
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it is a myth that your house can be squatted if 
you are on holiday. this is just not true. it is 
legal to squat empty properties, and the 
squatters can be removed through gaining a 
warrant through the courts. occupying a property 
which is not empty is not considered squatting. 
there are thousands of empty buildings in london, 
and a huge amount of homeless people. this just 
doesnt make sense. it is logical to squat and to 
create housing where it is otherwise denied.

- sarah, London, UK, 07/10/2010 21:09
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Weakness, as usual.

- M. John Namrah, San Diego, CA, USA, 07/10/2010 18:51
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Whatever laws protect squatters should be 
scrapped. Squatting is theft and vandalism, and should simply be ended.

- Oliver Chettle, Bedford, 07/10/2010 18:01
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When is any Government change the law on squatting???????
On holiday it could happen to anyone tomorrow.
For thirteen years the last lot talked.
Now this new lot have taken over, TALKING ONLY

- alan, green, 07/10/2010 15:08
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The cop shop's right next to The Bell pub. The 
police station was squatted a couple of years ago 
but I heard security guards moved them on. It 
says a lot about the promised gentrification of 
Leytonstone High Road before the Olympics that 
something like this happens. If someone had the 
courage to open a normal, clean and friendly pub 
that does food they'd make a killing in E11. 
There's a lot of pent up demand from young new 
arrivals who don't use the pubs on the High Road 
at the moment because they are absolute toilets.

- Harry Cole, Bow, 07/10/2010 13:07
+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."

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poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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