London’s local authority of Wandsworth has become the first to follow through with plans to evict tenants who have been convicted of partaking in the riots. Several other councils are also planning on moving forward with such plans. Prime Minister David Cameron supports this move.
Mr. Cameron believed that those who might run into difficulties due to the possibility of being evicted should have thought about the consequences before participating. Other councils considering the move include Nottingham City Council, Salford City Council, and London’s Westminster, Greenwhich, and Hammersmith and Fulham.
Currently, evictions can only occur if the trouble has been caused in the same area. However, Community Secretary, Eric Pickles, is beginning a debate considering an extension of those rules to apply to damage done outside the council as well.
By way of explanation, the Prime Minister had this to say, “If you live in a council house you’re getting a house at a discount from what other people have to pay and with that should come some responsibility.
“For too long we’ve taken a too soft attitude towards people that loot and pillage their own community. If you do that you should lose your right to the sort of housing that you’ve had at subsidised rates.
“Obviously, that will mean they’ve got to be housed somewhere else – they’ll have to find housing in the private sector – and that will be tougher for them, but they should have thought of that before they started burgling.”
He also added that a possibility of a bonus effect would be that some “criminal networks” on the estates could be broken up with evictions of some of the tenants. Mr. Pickles condemned the rioters, saying, “”These people have done their best to make people frightened on the streets where they live,” he said.
“They’ve done their best to destroy neighbourhoods, and frankly I don’t feel terribly sympathetic towards them.”
Wandsworth Council has begun the move by issuing an eviction notice to a tenant after her son was charged in association with the disorder in Clapham Junction. While the final decision will be determined through a county court judge, the notice is the first step in the process. Ravi Govindia, leader of the council assured citizens that “This council will do its utmost to ensure that those who are responsible pay a proper price for their conduct.”