Fifty lock-change evictions blocked by Glasgow Sheriff Court
The fight against Serco’s lock-change evictions in Glasgow continues with fifty evictions now blocked by Glasgow Sheriff Court.
The scale of intervention from the court raises serious questions about the Home Office contractor’s evictions policy.
Lawyers representing people affected by the policy argue that lock-change evictions without court orders are unlawful. They are seeking interim interdicts from the Sheriff Court on a case-by-case basis as a means of protecting people at risk of summary eviction, while the law is being clarified.
Graham O’Neill, policy manager at the Scottish Refugee Council, said: “These fifty interdicts are a significant milestone in the campaign against Serco and the Home Office’s inhumane treatment of people seeking refugee protection in Scotland.
“It’s time for Serco to commit to the lawful court order procedure which exists to protect people, giving them time to challenge potential evictions and avoid crisis situations such as this, where people are being forced into destitution and onto the streets.
“Until there is a final ruling on this legal case, we urge Serco to immediately stop making people homeless, and to stop spreading fear and anxiety among vulnerable, marginalised groups in Scotland.”
Fiona McPhail, principal solicitor at Shelter Scotland, added: “To achieve fifty interim interdicts so far is great news and just shows that there is a case to be heard. We would urge that Serco stop its programme of lock changes until the law has been clarified on whether these lock changes are lawful.
“Until then, as a group of housing lawyers in Glasgow, we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that any person at risk of a lock change has access to legal advice so that their rights to a home may be defended.”