An unused police station in Barking, East London, has recently been discovered to have been turned into an illegal hostel. An anonymous tip off led to police and housing officers raiding the property, where 30 people were found to be residing.
The property on Ripple Road was raided on Friday, having been sold off as a police station in 2013. A team from Barking and Dagenham Council’s enforcement team found the large number of tenants living in five rooms, in what was an apparent ‘beds for hire’ hostel.
Inside the building were a number of mattresses and wardrobes packed with clothing. In addition, the team found a washing machine and a television. The telltale sign that the property was occupied was a notice informing residents to do their own washing up.
‘Our war on rogue landlords will be relentless,’ said cabinet minister for crime and enforcement councillor Laila Butt. ‘We will not tolerate overcrowding in Barking and Dagenham and anyone making a mint out of others’ misery.’
Former East London police station was illegal hostel
Both the police and the local council plan on speaking to the owners of the building following the raid on the property. Deputy Borough Commander Supt Sean Wilson commented that, ‘local neighbourhood police officers supported the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Enforcement Officers in their closing of this venue.’
‘The excellent work by the local authority has ensured that this venue can no longer be used for illicit purposes,’ he added.