I’ve left the comment below to tenderhooligan’s blog post regarding this news story. I’m pretty pissed about the rioting which was mindless destruction for it’s own sake but the measured response by law enforcement should be against the perpetrators and the political response should be about the causes of the riot. So far I’ve not seen a politician address that at all.
I’m horrified by this story. The son has been arrested and is facing prosecution and probably a jail term. Fair enough, he committed a crime and society seeks to put in place corrective action and demonstrate a deterrent for future offenders. That deterrent shouldn’t extend to his family who are not responsible for his crime.
I note that Call-me-Dave says that “they’ll have to find housing in the private sector and that will be tougher for them”. Tougher? Yeah, let’s see a family (presumable on benefits or with a low income) raise a few thousand pounds for a deposit and a few thousand more for their first month or so rent.
No, what’ll happen is that they’ll go to the council again and ask for emergency accommodation for the 8 year old and mother (who they are already housing). The council can refuse as an evicted family is deemed “intentionally homeless” but in practice they won’t. They’ll be put up in a B&B or temporary accommodation for 6 to 12 months and go right back on the housing list.
When the son gets released after he finally gets a trial and they let him out for time served or shortly after they’ll apply for accommodation again. As an ex offender he’ll be given preferential housing and the family will end up in another council flat. Maybe even the same one.
Oh and the flat won’t be used for the next eighteen months. Most councils have a policy to keep flats used for crimes empty for a period to deter people who went to these properties (dealers, buyers, etc) from returning. Then it’ll be redecorated at tax payer’s expense and let out again.
The lovely Hil says that the council are within their rights according to the typical council tenancy agreement. Also that there is probably more to this story than is being told. Councils rarely evict based on single incidents.
Another thing. The eviction process is an expensive and drawn out process. Anyone who advices Sartain-Clarke’s mother will tell her to stay in the flat until the bailiffs arrive to evict in order to maximise their chances of being rehoused. That means more cost to the tax payer.
It looks to me to be an expensive and pointless exercise in public relations where Call-me-Dave can say that he is being tough on crime without actually doing anything constructive. Then again I may just be a cynic.
Apparently Call-me-Dave will make a speech about council housing reforms today.