Press statement – Police Scotland will NOT be attending SERCO’s lock change evictions

13 June 2019

Following SERCO’s press statement that it will resume lock change evictions against 300 refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow from next week, Police Scotland have stated that they will NOT be attending SERCO’s lock change evictions of vulnerable refugee men and women in Glasgow.

Robina Qureshi, Director of Positive Action in Housing, said:

“We understand that Police Scotland, a devolved service, will not be attending SERCO evictions. Nor will there be Sheriff officers or a court order. This is destitution evictions being done on the cheap. Why is SERCO not waiting for the ongoing appeal to the Court of Session, whose decision will be known in a matter of weeks? Are they afraid that the evictions will start to cost them?

“We are  extremely concerned that, in the absence of a structured eviction process with no police or a sheriff officer attending, that vulnerable men and women will be physically dragged from their only home or their belongings dumped.  There is no procedure or plan.So who is going to protect refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow from these Rachman style evictions? This is after all Glasgow’s second biggest landlord yet the Council appears to be standing back and letting it happen.

“Anecdotal evidence tells us that vulnerable, frightened people, both men and women, will be man handled onto the street or SERCO staff will wait for people to leave their accommodation to  go to college or lawyers or to the GP and locks will be changed. People may also barricade themselves in, or not go out of their flats to avoid being thrown out onto the streets of Glasgow. It is difficult to monitor what is happening because people are dispersed all over the city.

“Our advice to anyone who feels intimidated or harassed by SERCO staff  is to call the police, as intimidation or harassment  is against the law. People should tell SERCO staff that they are in the process of appealing through their lawyer  to  the first tier tribunal as per the court of Session’s advice. Our emergency advice service staff will assist people facing evictions by corresponding with SERCO and helping people to claim their rights.

“It is beyond shameful that SERCO will conduct lock change evictions when there is a live ongoing appeal against the Court of Session judgement of April 2019. SERCO’s actions are premature and Rupert Soames should not hide behind PR officers or a big Corporate name telling the press that SERCO is losing money. SERCO is making millions of government contracts and asylum housing is and always has been its loss leader.”

Emergency Advice Service

As SERCO is going ahead with lock change evictions, we are providing an emergency response service for people facing evictions from Mondays to Thursdays between 10 am and 12 noon and 2 pm to 3.00 pm. Our address is Positive Action in Housing 98 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1PJ.  Anyone facing eviction is advised to call  Positive Action in Housing on 0141 353 2220  and ask for an appointment to discuss their options, emergency advice and support.

We have today written to Rupert Soames of SERCO to ask his staff in Glasgow to revise their eviction letters to include this information, and advise people they are evicting of the above. We will then arrange to see people who are affected and give them advice accordingly.

This charity will face an increased demand from destitute people seeking  emergency grants and spare rooms in the homes of our volunteers hosts through Room for refugees.

Emergency Appeal

To address the current emergency situation, we have launched an  emergency appeal in aid of the asylum seeker men and women, many fleeing war in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, who are to be made destitute in Glasgow by SERCO. Such an  action places added pressure on Positive Action in Housing’s Emergency Relief Fund which provides crisis grants and arranges free shelter through our Room for Refugees Network. Genuine Refugees endure systematic cruelty at the hands of an asylum system that fast tracks them into “refused” asylum status, then leaves them destitute.

Please see our annual report for the work we do to help people rebuild their lives.

Finally, we depend on regular donations to help us help people to rebuild their lives and campaign for peoples basic human rights. It takes only a minute. Donate regularly using PayPal Giving. Or donate regularly via Charities Aid Foundation . Or go to for other ways to give.

Positive Action in Housing
98 West George Street
Glasgow G2 1PJ

Registered charity number SC027577
Company limited by guarantee 158867

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