Serco pause evictions as court proceedings initiated

On Saturday, Serco announced that it will pause its plans to forcibly evict more than 300 people from their homes in Glasgow. The announcement came after a week of pressure from ordinary people, politicians from all parties except the Conservatives and sustained campaigning from grassroots and community organisations.

Scottish Refugee Council’s Chief Executive, Sabir Zazai said:

“Of course we are pleased that the threat of immediate eviction has been lifted but a ‘pause’ is not the same as a solution to this situation. As far as we understand, Serco has only paused until they know the outcome of the legal proceedings raised against them.

“We need a commitment from Serco that they will not evict people by changing locks on properties. This is a threat that terrifies people who are already living with high levels of stress and anxiety.

“We also ask Serco to initiate a period of at least 28 days notice for any potential eviction and that, as landlords, they follow the legal route in Scotland when attempting to remove someone from a property.

“Beyond this, we desperately need a sustainable solution to this situation and a long term strategy for housing people in need. As a society we must create a safety net for people who have come here seeking refugee protection. Glasgow has been a home to people from the refugee community for more than fifteen years. The Home Office needs to invest in supporting safe, short-stay emergency accommodation for people who, for whatever reason, find themselves at the end of the asylum process without refugee status.

"It is not easy or straightforward to prove the need for refugee protection in the UK. We know from 30 years of our work that people often go on to receive refugee status after initially being refused . We need radical change to the system itself so people don’t end up in this precarious situation in the first place."