Rough sleepers evicted during Stratford raid

Police carried out a raid on Wingate House

Police carried out a raid on Wingate House - Credit: MPS

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences during a raid on a disused office block.

Officers carried out a premises closure order on Wingate House, Warton Road, Stratford, which had become occupied by rough sleepers.

Evidence had also emerged that drug abuse was taking place there, while there had also been incidents of youths entering the building and confronted by the occupants, sometimes in violent circumstances.

Two days before the raid, which took place this morning, a notice was issued and it is believed eight people left the building voluntarily.

When officers entered, three men were arrested – two on suspicion of immigration offences and another who was wanted on warrant in connection with a theft.

Four other men were removed from the building but not arrested, and were given the opportunity to see a drugs and alcohol worker and a representative from homeless charity Thames Reach.

Insp Cameron Chalcraft, who led the operation, said: “We are pleased with the success of today’s operation.

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“We hope that now the building has been cleared and closed, there will be a reduction in the acquisitive crime associated with the premises, and that this will improve the area for local residents.

“I would also like to thank everyone involved; in particular our partners at the council and Home Office Immigration Enforcement as well as Newham Drug and Alcohol Service and Thames Reach.”