Richmond, London: Bailiff arrested after rooftop protest against illegal eviction attempt

A squatter staged a rooftop protest and a bailiff was arrested after a stand-off in Richmond on Wednesday afternoon.

The bailiff, a 30-year-old man, was arrested after letting himself into the commercial building, 127-133 Sheen Road, by putting his hand through a letterbox to undo a latch.

The arrest came after the road was closed in both directions, causing major traffic problems, after a squatter locked himself on the roof of the three-storey building, threatening to jump unless people left.

Police arrived at 3.54pm to find squatters and bailiffs in dispute.

Squatting in a commercial property became a civil matter under Section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

The one-man rooftop protest took place at 4.30pm, with police closing Sheen Road in both directions within minutes.

London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade were both called.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “The squatter came down from the roof by 5.30pm and told police he had not really intended to jump.

“The bailiffs from Kent did not have a sufficient order to enter the building and were asked to leave by police.

“A bailiff who accessed the building via the letterbox a few hours later was arrested at 7pm for entering by force.

“He was taken to Kingston police station and has been bailed to return at a later date.”

The road closure caused major disruption to traffic and buses.

The squatters presently remain inside the building, according to police.

Source: Your Local Guardian