Squatters occupying the former Hackney Central Police station, are facing eviction
The occupiers, thought to be a group of homeless locals, have been occupying the building since April. According to a local businessman who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, the squatters have taken over the place by using a back window as their entrance.
At a court hearing on May 22 at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court, the squatters asked a Department of Education representative for enough time to move out:
“We told them that we had a number of vulnerable adults among our group, including a pregnant lady, and that we would need a little time to make sure we could find alternative accommodation for everyone so that people weren’t forced to sleep on the streets… They declined.”
The police station was sold last July by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, and bought by the Tauheedul Free School Trust for £7.6 million. The owners have yet to move in, and the building has remained boarded up.
Opinions on the squatters vary amongst the surrounding community. Some locals do not seem bothered by the their transient neighbours. A local resident said: “They play quite good music actually. I’ve seen them about, but they keep to themselves.”
But local businesses express unease over the illegal inhabitants. A businesswoman from a nearby hair salon said: “I’ve seen them, and they look dangerous. They should go.”
A DfE spokesperson said:“We are aware of squatters at this site and are taking the appropriate action.”