People living in town centre high-rises, such as Malvern, Quantock, Pennine, Chiltern, Temple Court and Sutton Court, believe the changes could stop people occupying homes.
On Saturday, it became a criminal offence to squat, and anyone convicted of the offence could face six months jail or a £5,000 fine.
Mike McKenzie, who lives in Sutton Court, said: “We’ve had trouble with squatters blocking off the drying rooms. They managed to walk in behind a genuine resident and then set up there, bolting the door shut.
“It stopped us from using the rooms.
“A law like this should help. No one should have the right, just because you’ve got an open front door, to come in and say: ‘That’s mine now’. ”Hear hear!
A mother-of-two, who lives in Malvern tower block, off Queensway, repeatedly complained to South Essex Homes after a group of squatters moved into a neighbouring flat. They were finally booted out in May after a court order, but residents had to put up with months of aggravation first.
The woman, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said: “I think it would definitely help. We had problems with them having rowdy parties and throwing bottles out of the window.
“I was worried for my children because of the broken glass they left outside.”Quite a difference from the sob stories of basically-decent folk fallen on hard times the ‘Guardian’ tried to foist on us, eh?
Street pastor Del Thomas, who regularly patrols Southend to care for its homeless population, said: “The new law is going to have a huge impact on Southend. “I work with rough sleepers, and there are lots of rough sleepers who squat and there are a lot of empty buildings being used.
“However, it depends on how strictly the police enforce it, because at the end of the day it’s their choice. They can either use the law or not.”Errr, no, sorry, Del boy. I think you’ll find that the police will have no choice but to act if a crime is reported.
And they’ve started already!
I wonder how many will receive a maximum fine or the full 6 months in jail (which is really only 3, as they 'earn' 50% off their sentence for good behaviour as soon as they go through the gates)? Judges also read The Grauniad and probably follow their editorials. Squatters will claim to be on benefits, so the taxpayer will not only continue to pay their benefits but also pick up the tab for their fines. There are a number of islands off the coast of UK which would be suitable for squatters to move to. There's one which was infected with smallpox during the Second World War. Wonder if it's safe to live there now? I know one way to find out.
Pensievat, I don't think it was smallpox it was Anthrax which is even better. I think Gruinard Island is safe now though.
"I wonder how many will receive a maximum fine or the full 6 months in jail..."
Very few, I expect, but people will get their property back sooner, and that at least is a good thing.
And we can always hope the police won't be too softly-softly about turfing them out!
F211, Thanks for that. I knew it was something nasty. Still doesn't stop the place being used as suggested.
What the fuck is a street pastor? It seems to be quite common now in reports, not even in quotes. What is this shit?
Rob, the Street Pastors I've come across seem to do ministry to the young homeless and people like that. An outdoor church for tramps is another way of putting it.
It is I believe an interdenominational christian thing.
Some may have fallen to the dark side of the political Left though and joined the crusties. Some probably do some good.
Some like this lot
http://www.streetpastors.co.uk/ even get money from the Home Office (or rather the taxpayer)
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