Police help shut down illegal housing site in East Hunsbury
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An illegal house in multiple occupation (HMO) where a large number of people were living in appalling conditions was shut down last week by officers from the West Northamptonshire Council Private Sector Housing Team in conjunction with Northamptonshire Police.
On Thursday, December 2, officers attended an area of land off the A45 near East Hunsbury in Northampton.
On arrival at the site, they found 17 adults living in a number of outhouses and caravans in what was identified as an illegally operating HMO. The accommodation was being used by a business to house their employees.
PC Gaby Elliott from the Neighbourhoods Team said: “I was called to a suspicious vehicle which linked to an address where we thought modern slavery and human trafficking was happening.
“After ensuring the safety of the occupants, we shut down all of the buildings with emergency prohibition orders. We’ve spoken to the person who is head of the company and they are aware they are not allowed to operate from there anymore.
“There were lots of partner agencies involved. It’s important to work together as we all have different powers. The more we work together, the better the outcome we have, like today.”
Cllr Adam Brown, West Northamptonshire Council Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, said: “We’re proud of the partnership work our Housing Enforcement Team does with partners, particularly Northamptonshire Police.
“This enables us to target the worst properties and ensure people who are operating poor quality accommodation are held to account.
“Nobody should have to live in the conditions we found during our operation last week and we will continue to take action to ensure we protect people’s right not to live in squalor.”
During the operation two men were arrested. The arrests were unconnected to the incident and relate to offences that occurred elsewhere in the UK.