Border agency and police raid Cricklewood site being used by Romanian squatters
PUBLISHED: 13:25 26 June 2013 | UPDATED: 13:42 26 June 2013
A total of 68 people wree living in the former ground of Hendon FC in Claremont Road
A disused football ground in Cricklewood which was being used by Romanian squatters has been raided this morning.
Immigration officers and the police stormed the former ground of Hendon FC in Claremont Road.
A total of 68 people were found living in squalor on the site.
Officers from UK Border Agency offered them all free flights back to their homeland if they left the site immediately.
It is now known how many accepted the offer but if they do not have permission to be in the UK they will be deported.
Once cleared the site will be placed under 24-hour security by Barnet Council.
Gus Bodur, of Clitterhouse Road, who lives opposite the site, told the Times the council should have acted when the squatters moved in two years ago.
He added: “I actually blame the council for this as they should have cleared this up a long time ago.
“Now they will be paying for security but it us the taxpayers who are paying for this.
“This is going to cost thousands of pounds which we are not happy about.”
A spokesman for Barnet Council said: “The council has worked with the police, the leaseholder, homeless charities and the Romanian Embassy to move squatters on from this site on at least three occasions.
“The disposal of the freehold of the site has been held up over the last two years by repeated legal challenge.
“Cabinet Resources Committee confirmed the sale of the freehold on Monday evening. It is expected this will lead to the prompt development of the site and a permanent end to the squatting.”