British police have raided three sites in Ilford, east London and evicted rough sleepers from the area taking away the homeless men™s sleeping bags and food parcels, local media reported.
Metropolitan Police officers evicted 8 men who were sleeping rough at a former public swimming baths in one example, the local paper, the Ilford Recorder reported.
The police officers bundled the homeless men™s sleeping bags and other possessions including food parcels given them by local charities into a police car, one of the homeless men, Adam Jaskowiak, told the paper.
The following day, the evicted men went to a local charity, the Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London (Ramfel), for help.
The chief executive of Ramfel, Rita Chadha, told the Ilford Recorder that she contacted the local police and local council to discover what happened. It took two days before she received any response, which came in the form of a message from the police that they would get back to her.
œWe informed them that we wanted the sleeping bags back and we were told the officer in charge was unavailable and nobody else knew what was going on”, said Chadha.
Homelessness in London is rising three times as fast as across the rest of the country, according to government statistics from the Department of Communities and Local Government.
In autumn 2012, before the housing benefit cap came into effect, government figures showed a 6 percent rise in rough sleeping nationally against the previous year. London accounts for around a quarter of this figure, but the actual figures cited (557 people sleeping rough in the capital on any night) are likely to under-report the problem.