On July 3rd 2013, Police officers and an armed response unit were sent to an address in Brixton in response to a shooting. Whilst enforcing a Warrant of Eviction, A Housing Officer working for Metropolitan Housing and a Court Bailiff were shot at.
Luckily their wounds were not life threatening and they are said to be in a stable condition.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said that the police forced entry into the property and restrained a man who was unarmed. A fire arm has since been recovered from the home. The man was arrested and taken to a south London police station where he remains in custody.
While this is a pretty extreme way of tying to allegedly stop an eviction, it highlights the stress that people are experiencing and the lengths some people may go to, to keep possession of their home.
In January 2012 a tenant in Huyton climbed up onto his roof and refused to come down for four hours when the bailiffs arrived to evict him from his home. Again Police officers were called to the property and eventually this eviction ended peacefully.
With enforced cuts to benefits, more and more people are exposed to losing their home and eviction rates are likely to soar.
While houses in London are sought-after, evictions in poorer areas means we are likely to see properties remain empty for large periods of time resulting in wastelands and no-go arrears.
Housing associations should do everything in their power to assist tenants struggling to pay their rent.
By Shaun Newcombe