New ASB powers of eviction: Our homes are no longer our own

A 22-year old has been evicted from her home in Plymouth, as police used the broad new powers of eviction contained within the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act.

The Plymouth Herald reports enthusiastically that new ASB powers mean that somebody can be evicted from their home and asked to leave ‘within the hour’, if police ‘tell the court they reasonably believe that there is, or is likely soon to be, a public nuisance or there is disorder in the vicinity of the premises’.

The old conditions for eviction were significantly stonger: the ‘police would have to prove that the property was being used for disorderly or criminal behaviour and was causing a serious nuisance to the public’.

There is something very sinister about the photos of a police officer posing in the young lady’s retaken home: she hasn’t even had time to clear her stuff out.

The right to your own home is undergoing substantial modification with these new powers, which allow tenants to be evicted and also privately owned properties to be ‘closed down’ on the broadest of grounds. This young lady, for example, was guilty of ‘loud noise, unwanted visitors and threatening behaviour’. Unwanted visitors!: it is hardly a criminal offence to invite people around who your neighbours do not want to see or do not like.

When evictions can be justified on the flimsiest of grounds – and police can patrol your retaken home within the hour for trophy photos – we know that these powers are being used not in the interests of communities, but for the extension of the arbitrary power of the state.

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+’://’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);