Southgate Rough Sleeping- MEQ

Hello all, I would like to give an update for Southgate residents on what is an ongoing issue. We have been grappling with the issue for over three months now, and are working hard to get it resolved. Response details:

Dear Cllr Stephanos Ioannou,

Thank you for your enquiry regarding the encampment outside the closed police station in Southgate. I can confirm that we were informed of this new encampment on 24 Jan 2023. We took immediate action to visit the site and to offer support and accommodation to the occupants. As you are aware, this site was previously occupied by a couple, who were moved on in October 2022 following legal action taken by the current owners of the building. The new occupants are also a couple. We understand that they have a local connection to Haringey.

I can confirm that my Street Outreach Team have visited the couple on a regular basis, and we have offered them support and accommodation on each visit. Unfortunately, they have consistently refused the help we have offered them. In light of this we have advised the Council’s Strategic Property Services, the Antisocial Behaviour Team and the Police that the couple have refused to engage, and we have advised them to take action due to the impact this is having on the local community.

The vast majority of people we find sleeping rough in Enfield gratefully accept offers of support we give them. Since April 2020, our Street Homeless Service has found, visited, supported and housed 840 rough sleepers in Enfield. Unfortunately, there has been an increase in the number of new rough sleepers found bedded down on the streets of Enfield over this time. However, the Street Homeless Service have developed a comprehensive pathway to quickly intervene to help people forced to sleep rough, or at risk of sleeping rough. As a result, and we have seen a steady reduction in the number of rough sleepers found bedded down on any typical night, from 79 in Autumn 2019 to 5 in January 2023. Between Autumn 2021 and Autumn the number of rough sleepers found bedded down on a typical night has increased nationally (26% increase). The highest increase was in London – a 34% increase. However, despite this challenging wider picture, Enfield has achieved a reduction in the number of rough sleepers over the same period ? a reduction of 48%, the highest reduction in rough sleeping achieved in the UK.

Unfortunately, a small minority of those found rough sleeping consistently refuse offers of support, and in these circumstances, we are unable to force them to accept help. I have spoken to Karen Maguire in Strategic Property Services, who is responsible for taking action to tackle Trespass and Illegal Encampments. Because the land is privately owned, it is the responsibility of the landowner to take action to remove trespassers. Karen has contacted the owner of the land in order to advise them to take legal action to remove the couple from the site ASAP. This will be monitored and pursued vigorously ? this is recognised as a hot spot. While this legal action is being pursued, my team will continue to visit the couple regularly and offer them help.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information on this matter.

Thank you,

2 thoughts on “Southgate Rough Sleeping- MEQ

  1. You may be aware that there is now one person in the old Southgate Police Station foyer as of this morning 21/03/2023

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