Free flights home for Romanian squatters rounded up in dawn raid on Hendon shanty town
Immigration officials today raided a “shanty town” camp of Romanian squatters at a disused London football ground.
Officials offered the squatters a free flight home if they moved immediately from the former Hendon FC ground.
Dozens of Roma travellers have set up makeshift shelters and sheds at the site even though there is no running water or electricity.
Many of the huts were assembled from waste wood, rubble and plastic only yards from people’s homes surrounding the ground.
Today immigration officials supported by police and local council officials moved in at dawn to clear the site.
A total of 68 people were found to be living there, the majority of them men.
The group had been living in shacks constructed from scrap wood and metal from the demolished football stands and other rubbish left by fly-tippers.
Witnesses said officials from the Home Office were offering the travellers free flights home this afternoon if they agreed to move. By mid-morning at least 20 had agreed to return.
Dean Cohen, Barnet Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Today’s raid is the culmination of several weeks of close co-operation between the leaseholder, Barnet Council, the Metropolitan Police, homeless charity Thames Reach and the Romanian embassy.
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