Tents and belongings of homeless people have been destroyed in Camden after an order was issued to vacate the area.
Ten homeless people were known to be camping outside University College Hospital near Warren Street and are affected by the action, with one person reportedly arrested.
Social media videos show tents and belongings being destroyed in bin lorries while police usher homeless people camping out on the premises to leave.
— Streets Kitchen (@streetskitchen) November 10, 2023
A representative from action group Streets Kitchen witnessed the scene adding that “ten people’s only possessions in the world along with their tents were destroyed”.
They reported that a Section 35 dispersal order had been issued forcing people living in the area to vacate the premises or face arrest.
Camden Council have denied involvement in the action, saying in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter:
“Camden has had no role in enforcing this eviction and do not own the land. Nothing is more important to us than the welfare & rights of everyone who is experiencing homelessness. Our outreach teams have been working hard to offer support to every person sleeping rough here.
“Our outreach teams have been visiting this location several times a week offering support to move on from rough sleeping, including access to accommodation and a range of other services.
“If you are worried about someone sleeping rough in Camden, please let us know by using the Camden Streetsafe app, emailing Streetsafe@cgl.org.uk, or calling 0808 800 0005.”
A University College London Hospital spokesperson said: “Following public health concerns, the police have helped to relocate some people sleeping outside the Grafton Way Building, a hospital treating immunocompromised patients.”
However, Streets Kitchen insisted the council were also involved.
Ali Hassan Ali, a resident of Camden said: “I’m appalled. This is such a shameful episode in our borough and it truly saddens me to see this happening to our homeless community who are in desperate need of housing and not having their tents and possessions taken in this barbaric way. “
Streets Kitchen, an entirely volunteer-led organisation have appealed for donations to their fundraising page to assist with replacing the equipment destroyed in the incident. The page can be found here.