- Binmen in Camden have been filmed dragging tents off the street into a truck
Shocking footage shows tents belonging to homeless people being confiscated by binmen throwing them into the back of a rubbish truck but the council insists it’s not behind the evictions.
Videos of binmen dragging tents off the street and throwing them into the back of a rubbish truck in Camden have gained traction online.
The Labour-run council insisted it’s not behind the evictions and the acting leader said he is ‘concerned’ and will be investigating.
They said he was taken into custody for refusal to relocate from the area following a dispersal order.
Councillor Pat Callaghan, Acting Leader of Camden Council, said: ‘We are deeply concerned to see these videos and I am ordering an urgent investigation into what happened.
‘Nothing is more important to us than the welfare, safety, and rights of every person who is experiencing homelessness.
‘Our outreach team, Routes off the Streets, have been working hard to offer support to every person sleeping rough in Camden, including access to accommodation and a range of other services.
‘I’m also concerned that our contracted waste operator has been engaged in this operation and I will be personally looking into why this has happened.’
A spokesperson from the Met Police said: ‘Met officers worked with University College London Hospital and other partners in response to concerns about approximately ten tents near the entrance to the hospital in Huntley Street, NW1.
‘One person was arrested for breach of a S35 dispersal order having refused to comply with the police direction to relocate from the area. He has been taken into police custody.
‘Appropriate support is being provided by partner organisations to those affected.’
The video was posted on X by Streets Kitchen, who said on the post: ‘Police have issued a section 35 dispersal order and are forcing people experiencing homelessness to move or face arrest.
‘This is outrageous from Camden Council. [Camden Police] must immediately halt this operation. We call on all to get down and help resist.’
One social media user commented ‘What the hell is happening here?’ while another asked ‘Where are they supposed to go?’
Another said: ‘This is terrible! Camden Town has a lot of homeless people. I work there every Friday. I was wondering why I didn’t see them today.’
This incident follows Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s comments of wanting to stop the ‘nuisance and distress’ caused by homeless people pitching tents.
The Cabinet minister said Britain ‘cannot allow our streets to be taken over by rows of tents’ occupied by people who she said were mainly from abroad and ‘living on the streets as a lifestyle choice’.
Mrs Braverman made the comments on X as she shared an article from the Financial Times reporting about how she is pushing for restrictions on the use of tents in urban environments.
According to the report, the senior Conservative’s proposals include establishing a civil offence to deter charities from giving tents to homeless people.
The number of people estimated to be sleeping rough on a single night in England in autumn 2022 was 3,069, according to government figures – an increase of more than a quarter since 2021.
Mrs Braverman tweeted on Saturday: ‘The British people are compassionate. We will always support those who are genuinely homeless.
‘But we cannot allow our streets to be taken over by rows of tents occupied by people, many of them from abroad, living on the streets as a lifestyle choice.
‘Unless we step in now to stop this, British cities will go the way of places in the US like San Francisco and Los Angeles, where weak policies have led to an explosion of crime, drug taking, and squalor.
‘Nobody in Britain should be living in a tent on our streets.
‘There are options for people who don’t want to be sleeping rough, and the Government is working with local authorities to strengthen wraparound support including treatment for those with drug and alcohol addiction.
‘What I want to stop, and what the law-abiding majority wants us to stop, is those who cause nuisance and distress to other people by pitching tents in public spaces, aggressively begging, stealing, taking drugs, littering, and blighting our communities.’
Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said: ‘This is grim politics from a desperate Conservative Government which knows its days are numbered.
‘It is a new low for Braverman to criminalise homeless charities for simply trying to keep vulnerable people warm and dry in winter.
‘The British public raise millions of pounds for homeless people at this time of year, and the Government’s response is to criminalise those charities trying to help.
‘This policy will do nothing to stop rough sleeping and will leave vulnerable people to face the harsh weather conditions without any shelter whatsoever.’