|66 Queens Square Bristol, site of Tuesday’s illegal eviction|
Disturbing reports yesterday of yet another unlawful eviction having taken place. In the earlier hours of Tuesday morning, members of the Avon and Somerset police force decided to evict a group of young squatters on the grounds that they were ‘trespassing’. They stated that squatting had become illegal and that they now had the power to evict the building.
They didn’t. Section 6 of the criminal law act 1977 still applies; entrance by force or by threat of force to a persons residence is still a criminal offence. The inhabitants of the former building society in Bristol had committed no crime, they are were simply occupying an abandoned building and this is still completely lawful. Although the offence of squatting in residential buildings has been passed, it has not yet been enacted. This means the police have no power at all to evict/arrest under this new offence.
Three complaints have been made against the officers who were involved in this incident. We’ll keep you updated on how these complaints progress. The squatters resquatted the property shorty after the police left and to our knowledge they are still there. Respect!
For more info check the indymedia article: