Transport for London apathy allows Cinnamon Street squatters to return once more

As residents of Cinnamon Street, Wapping, know only too well the squatters have returned to occupy three buildings in their road. Two buildings in Cinnamon Street and one building opposite Wapping Station have been taken over.

TfL building opposite Wapping Station

It was only in January this year that the police had to been called to remove the squatters from one of the buildings in Cinnamon Street.

The question residents are asking is why Transport for London (TfL) is incapable of securing these premises properly so that they cannot be illegally occupied? Other landlords seem to manage it but not TfL.

TfL building Cinnamon Street

Exactly how much it costs to evict and remove the squatters is not known but local sources inform LW that around £10,000 a time is about right.

This garage entrance has been insecure for years.

Whatever the exact cost this is money that could be used to fix the lift at Shadwell Station, fix the continually broken ticket machines at Westferry Station or many other issues that TfL need to manage.

TfL building Cinnamon Street

Police officers are a scarce resource

The other issue is that the last time the squatters needed to be removed Tower Hamlets police had to devote 10 police officers to ensure the job was done properly.

Ten of our police officers evicting Cinnamon Street squatters in January 2019.

10 police officers is a significant amount of police resources available in the borough at any one time and while they are busy correcting the inaction of TfL there are lots more important issues they could be dealing with.

It is not known if TfL is given the bill for these police operations but they should be.

LW has contacted TfL for comment and will update this story when we get a response.

Eviction notices on TfL building

LW Comment

Our community and our police officers should not have to bear the financial cost of evicting these same squatters time and time again.

The last time these buildings were cleared the police found stolen property inside. So it is fair to argue that because TfL cannot employ a company capable of securing buildings properly they are indirectly increasing crime in Wapping.

TfL needs to get its act together.

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