Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Barbican security guard calls the police to have us removed, and I am threatened with an arrest on the trumped-up charge of assaulting a police officer

This is where we had been sleeping since the West London Churches Homeless Concern (WLCHC) closed their winter shelters on 13 April. It was relatively safe, we didn't bother anyone, and Declan's asthma and chest infection could have been kept under control (from the Royal London Hospital's Discharge Summary of 16 April: "Diagnosed with asthma and a concurrent chest infection on 14th April at first attendance to Charing Cross Hospital").

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Last night a Barbican security guard called the police as we were bedding down and PC 667CP and PC 602CP from Bishopsgate Police Station were on us in minutes. They threatened to dump our belongings onto the street if we didn't move immediately, which then became they were going to come around later with street cleaners to have us hosed out, which then became two female officers were going to arrest me later on the trumped-up charge of assaulting a police officer. (I straight away thought of an article I read a couple of weeks ago about a gang of Romanian rough sleepers who terrorised residents, tourists and shopkeepers for two years around Marble Arch, one of the capital's best known and most central landmarks, because the police could do nothing about them.) We eventually decided to spend the night in King’s Cross train station rather than risk my arrest on such a trumped-up charge, and today we have decided that we have no choice now but to spend our nights sleeping on night buses until the Single Homeless Project comes through with their offer of a flat, first tabled on 21 January.
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This is Declan last week just after he was diagnosed with ashma and a chest infection:
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The surprise in all this is that today we are supposed to hear from a Single Homeless Project caseworker with an appointment to view a housing association flat. Still no word on that one!

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And so much for "alternative remedies" to prevent us from becoming street homeless again when WLCHC closed their doors the week before last:

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UPDATE 2 October 2014: City of London Police: If you want to challenge our word against yours again, you need to make an application to the High Court for permission to apply for judicial review