Petition takes on Wandsworth riot eviction

The aftermath of London's riots
The aftermath of London's riots

By Alex Stevenson

Nearly 2,000 people have signed a petition rejecting Wandsworth borough council's decision to evict a council tenant for involvement in the recent London riots.

The local authority became the first to issue an eviction notice in the wake of the disorder. The tenant's son has not yet been convicted. Both herself and her eight-year-old daughter would also be affected by the decision.

"Wandsworth know this but want to act tough for their own political gain," the petition, started by postgraduate student Robert Davidson, stated.

"They want to make a strong stand for the public limelight. They want to be the first to evict someone."

Council leader Ravi Govindia said Wandsworth was determined to take the "strongest possible action" against any tenant or member of their household involved in last week's violence.

"Most residents on our housing estates are decent law-abiding citizens who will have been sickened at the scenes they witnessed on their TV screens," he said.

"Many will have seen their places of work trashed at the hands of these rioters. As much as anything else we owe it to them to send out a strong signal that this kind of violence will not be tolerated."

But Mr Davidson commented: "This kind of collective punishment is only going to make innocent people feel hated by society and is going to cause more problems in future."

The petition had attracted 1,939 signatures by 08:45 on Thursday morning. That number is dwarfed by the 212,639 people who signed an e-petition on the government's new website titled: "Convicted London rioters should loose all benefits."

Eviction proceedings have commenced against the Wandsworth council tenant, but will not be followed through until the son's trial takes place on September 6th.


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