On Monday the 9th February, at 2.15pm, British Transport Police & Bath constabulary conspired to commit an illegal eviction of a new short-lived squat on the edge of Twerton, in Bath.
The former Twerton-on-Avon railway station fell out of use in 1917, and was briefly the site of Andromeda Gardening Services owned by R. Potter. R. Potter was arrested and found guilty of a huge cannibis growing operation in the loft of the building in 2003, and was believed to have been forced to sell the property to pay off the fine. The building was later occupied by European squatters in 2006 & 2007, whom the local residents mistakenly assumed were the cannibis dealers. Contending with that and confusing the issue, Network Rail also claimed squatters’ rights to the building, and their twelve years’ were due to be up in August 2008, except for the intervention of our European friends.
A second generation of squatters moved in on Friday the 6th of February, last week, through a damaged doorway and promptly went about doing up their lovely new 4-storey home, content in the knowledge that they were the new temporary owners.
The authorities had other ideas though, with BTP committing criminal damage destroying one of the padlocks, criminally breaking and entering as they booted their way through the door, and then trespassing as they spread through the building, ignoring the Section 6 notice that the occupier read out to them as they carried on their crime wave. Officer 1306 particularly of British Transport Police take note. They were allegedly acting off knowledge from a nearby property also renting from Network Rail (were they fraudulently pretending to be the owner of that property, too, one wonders?) who reported suspicious squatter-types entering and leaving the building – so police also broke their own rules on revealing witnesses. They then handed over the occupier to Bath Constabulary, who held him for a further 8 hours.
Bath Police didn’t care about the fact that Network Rail aren’t the legal owners of the contested building, and neither did they care about the guidlelines set down in PACE where they are obliged to supply inmates with writing materials, or food in sealed packaging, or indeed respond to the suspect’s cries when having a claustrophobia attack, or indeed offer him access to a solicitor of his choice and repeatedly refusing him access to hsi phone call – though, they eventually caved on that.
It also appears that the police flunked their law exam: they were due to release the person with a caution for trespass at 21.30 that night, until one of the embarrassed CPS took their window-licking colleague aside and advised that it’s probably best to do someone for a crime, rather than a civil offense. So, cautuoned for electricity extyraction it was.
Also of note is that at no point was a legal warning given, nor a warrant produced. The offending bad cop screwed up the Section 6 and shoved it in his pocket with a scowl.
Good old Bath police.
But for readers out there, the property is still ownerless and ripe for the taking. And remember: an attack one is an attack on all.
Don’t let ‘em rot…
SCABbers on Indy UK