Police lambaste British homeowners who try to reclaim property from squatters

A few days ago, I posted about the fact that, in England, it is illegal to defend yourself against an attack within your own home.  I shouldn’t have gotten so upset about the whole thing.  You see, it seems that I was operating from a ridiculous premise, which is that one actually has legal rights to a house in England, entirely separate from the right to defend oneself against predators.  It now turns out that the British have no rights in property, especially when there’s even a suspicion that the home invaders might be a politically protected class of illegal aliens.

I sound as if I’m on hallucinogenic drugs as I write that, don’t I?  Sadly, I’m just reporting the plain facts:

Family shut out of their ‘dream home’ by gang of gipsies who moved in over Christmas

With the building works nearly over, Julian and Samantha Mosedale and their three children were looking forward to moving back into the home of their dreams.

But their hopes have turned into a nightmare because a group of Romanians occupied the property over Christmas.

To add insult to injury, police told them that they were being ‘racist’ for questioning the squatters’ right to live in Britain on benefits.

The unwanted guests have changed the locks at the three-bedroom terrace house and moved in their own furniture.Mr Mosedale, an illustrator, and his wife, a catalogue manager, both 45, had moved out of the house in Tottenham, North London, in July 2007 for extensive structural and renovation work.

They rented another property and regularly visited the £285,000 house to oversee progress.

But, after spending Christmas visiting relatives in Essex, they returned to the house on January 3 to find the squatters installed.

They now fear they could soon be homeless because they can only afford to foot the cost of rent and mortgage payments until March.

Mrs Mosedale, whose three sons are ten, eight, and five, said: ‘We called the police as soon as we found out they were in there. An officer suggested I was racist when I asked if they were Romanians, and did they have a legal right to be in this country.

[snip]

Yesterday, the couple obtained a county court order giving the squatters 24 hours – until 2.15pm today – to leave.

But Mr Mosedale fears they will not give in easily.

He said: ‘When the papers were served on them they tore them up and threw them back at the guy who’d taken them round.’

He and his wife are also worried that a drawn-out battle would exhaust their savings. They had planned to move back into the house in March.

In the old days, the British were a little over the top when it came to respecting property.  You couldn’t vote unless you owned any, and you could be hanged or transported for messing about with someone else’s (with those punishments extending even to small children).  I highly approve of the fact that, in the last 150 years, the British have accepted universal suffrage and done away with hanging ten year olds for stealing bread loaves.  That shows a high degree of sophistication.

However, having said that, England is utterly insane to rely on the doctrine that “possession is nine tenths of the law” when it comes to real property.  This doctrine might make sense in the absence of recorded documents demonstrating ownership.  However, once you have recorded legal papers, as we do in modern society, that doctrine should be relegated to the backwaters of illiterate, warlord societies — and, has far as I know, England hasn’t yet sunk to that level.

Ye Olde English weren’t actually so far off when they insisted that only property owners could have a voice in the body politic.  Putting aside all the feudal, classist implications of that law, it’s true that people who own real property have a vested interest in the society in which they live.  They’ve set down roots and are committed to the country — sometimes suicidally so, as was the case with middle class German Jews who, weighed down by their possessions, didn’t escape in time.  The same is true, of course, for nuclear families, since intact families with children have a great deal invested in their country’s future.  If you remove all stability from people’s lives, if you promise them that they can never count on the promise of a stable home or an intact family, you’ve effectively gutted the great middle that holds a country together.

Family shut out of their ‘dream home’ by gang of gipsies who moved in over Christmas

By David Wilkes and Nick Mcdermott
Last updated at 1:18 AM on 13th January 2010

With the building works nearly over, Julian and Samantha Mosedale and their three children were looking forward to moving back into the home of their dreams.

But their hopes have turned into a nightmare because a group of Romanians occupied the property over Christmas.

To add insult to injury, police told them that they were being ‘racist’ for questioning the squatters’ right to live in Britain on benefits.

Julian and Samantha Mosedale with their children Finn, Jake and Toby (left to right) had hoped to move back into their 'dream home' in March

Locked out: Julian and Samantha Mosedale with their children Finn, Jake and Toby (left to right) had hoped to move back into their ‘dream home’ in March

The unwanted guests have changed the locks at the three-bedroom terrace house and moved in their own furniture.

Mr Mosedale, an illustrator, and his wife, a catalogue manager, both 45, had moved out of the house in Tottenham, North London, in July 2007 for extensive structural and renovation work.

They rented another property and regularly visited the £285,000 house to oversee progress.

But, after spending Christmas visiting relatives in Essex, they returned to the house on January 3 to find the squatters installed.

They now fear they could soon be homeless because they can only afford to foot the cost of rent and mortgage payments until March.

Mrs Mosedale, whose three sons are ten, eight, and five, said: ‘We called the police as soon as we found out they were in there. An officer suggested I was racist when I asked if they were Romanians, and did they have a legal right to be in this country.

One of the alleged Romanian gipsies 'Daniel' leaves the Mosedale's house in Tottenham

Squatter? One of the alleged Romanian gipsies ‘Daniel’ leaves the Mosedale’s house in Tottenham after taking over during Christmas

‘We are hard-working citizens yet get treated like criminals when our home is stolen. This whole thing is making me feel constantly sick. All we want to do is get on with our lives.

‘We feel let down by the law, by government, and by the police, in fact all the authorities that one would expect to protect society.

‘The house had builders in it while the renovations were being done. It was only in the last couple of months that it was left completely empty.

‘Our lawyers don’t know how long it will take us to get them out and the stress is really getting to the whole family.

‘The kids are upset at the idea that other children are playing with their toys in the garden.

‘Our son Jake is old enough to understand what is going on and he is finding it difficult to sleep.

‘All the children are incredibly unsettled.’

The Mosedale's house in Tottenham where squatters have moved in

Target: The £285,000 Mosedale’s house. When the family questioned the squatters’ right to be in Britain, police told them that they were being ‘racist’

Yesterday, the couple obtained a county court order giving the squatters 24 hours – until 2.15pm today – to leave.

But Mr Mosedale fears they will not give in easily.

He said: ‘When the papers were served on them they tore them up and threw them back at the guy who’d taken them round.’

He and his wife are also worried that a drawn-out battle would exhaust their savings. They had planned to move back into the house in March.

Mrs Mosedale said: ‘We were in the process of creating our dream home and it has been ruined.

‘At the moment there are at least four women, four children and one man living in our home, but neighbours said they have seen many more people going in and out.

‘In the meantime we face the prospect of becoming homeless ourselves, since we had only budgeted to pay both rent and our mortgage until mid March.’

Two sisters, Mihaela and Luminitsa Vaduva, are staying in the house with their seven children.

Speaking broken English, Luminitsa said: ‘I don’t understand the problem. We have paid for this home. If they move us out, then my children will not have a home.

‘We are from Romania, we have no money for another home.’

She showed a tenancy agreement but could not provide a contact number for the landlord or say when they had moved in.

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  • JKB

    I’ve read a couple of stories like this but this is the first one involving a home.  Without strong property rights, England will have no economy.  It has been shown over and over that enforceable property rights are what permit a country to build a middle class and small business.  Without enforceable property rights, you can’t get a loan, no one will invest in improvements and your basically dependent only on those who have favor with the ruling elite.
    The Greatest Generation gave a lot of blood and sweat to save Britain and their worthless offspring have given it all away.

  • Gringo

    police told them that they were being ‘racist’ for questioning the squatters’ right to live in Britain on benefits.
    Solution: have foreign/minority  squatters invade the home of the police who said the above. See what happens. Publicize it.

  • http://tastyinfidelicacies.blogspot.com Jewel

    Well, see now? If the police arrest them for being racist and all, then they would have free housing in gaol.

  • Mike Devx

    I like these kinds of laws!  I’m going to start shadowing this guy who has a top of the line Corvette.  I’ve always wanted one of those, you see.   I’m just waiting for him to drop his car keys.  I’ll swoop in, snatch them up, run to his car, let myself in, slam the doors and lock them, and settle into the driver’s seat.
     
    MINE!
     

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    The serfs don’t own land. It’s the aristos with that right.

  • suek

    Gringo…you’re evil!
     
    I like it.
     
    Mike…
     
    It wouldn’t work – you’re not a protected minority…

  • Tonestaple

    Gringo’s idea is the best.

    Book, if you’re looking for a book to write, I would say that post about your ancestors is it.  Don’t focus on writing a novel of ideas – that makes for some pretty tedious reading (cf Galt’s big speech).  If you are writing a book and you have opinions about your characters, your ideas are bound to come through.  As a matter of face, the closest you might come to “ideas” might be to focus on the ancestor in east Germany and the embittered bureaucrat in Denmark, probably two peas in a pod.

  • Pingback: » Links to Visit – 01/13/10 NoisyRoom.net: Where liberty dwells, there is my country…()

  • SADIE

    Epic and biblical in your link to Cosmic Ironies.  Rambam (Maimonides) would have been impressed. I was moved to tears remembering family stories that came in dribs and drabs and with much prodding, only to realize that forcing recall was to relive it all.

  • Gringo

    Tonestaple and suek, thanks for the feedback. An improvement on my initial suggestion would be not to target the police, but some politicians and government officials. First, it might not be practical to invade policemens’ homes, as they may legally have guns at home, and the law regarding a policeman’s response may differ from that of an ordinary homeowner. Better to go to a home where one is less likely to find a gun: not a policeman’s home. As politicians and government officials are also less likely to have guns at home than policemen, it is also more practical to target them.
     
    A  government official or politician who is  pissed off after being the target of a home invasion is also going to be a powerful advocate to change the law, more more powerful than a mere copper.
     
     
     
    There is also a moral aspect to this. Policemen do not create law. They merely enforce the laws that legislators enact. (Given the truckloads of laws that legislators enact, enforcement will always be selective.)  It would be much more appropriate to invade the homes of  politicians and government officials. An excellent  target would be the home of a Members of Parliament who voted for the enactment of  such absurd laws regarding  homeowner defense.
     
     

  • SADIE

    I understand the Queen splits her time between Buckingham and Windsor, which leaves two options for squatters. Ever so nice to have options.
     

  • socratease

    Update: Looks like the Mosedales got their home back:
     
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1242998/The-Romanians-No-76-Well-pay-2-000-say-squatters-finally-evicted.html
     
    The Romanian squatter’s story is, to put it mildly, difficult to take seriously.