Local authority and police decisions to seize the homes of family members of those charged in connection with the riots or convicted of terrorist offences punish whole families for one member’s wrongdoing.
Evicting Rioters’ Families
In the aftermath of the August riots, Wandsworth Council served an eviction notice on the mother and 8-year-old sister of 18-year-old Daniel Sartain-Clarke when he was charged with burglary and violent disorder in the riots. Many councils, including Greenwich, Barking and Dagenham, Manchester and Salford declared that they would evict rioters, but apart from Wandsworth, only Southwark Council is believed to have sent out letters warning of eviction to tenants with family members suspected of criminal conduct.
Speaking of the eviction notice, Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia said: ‘There is no room on our estates for people who commit violent crimes, who show no consideration for their neighbours or harass, threaten, intimidate or cause disturbance to others.’ But the Council has been heavily criticised for the decision. Neighbours protest that even if Daniel is guilty, which he disputes, his mother Maite de la Calva is a valuable member of the community, volunteering with a charity helping domestic violence survivors, whose eviction will weaken the neighbourhood, not make it stronger. A picket was held outside Wandsworth magistrates’ court on 6 September to protest the proposed eviction, and even the Daily Telegraph said the proposed eviction was ‘an act of political spite‘. Read the rest of this entry »