Training PCs to issue eviction warnings ‘victimises’ social tenants
Plus Dane police scheme under fire
A housing association is training police officers so they can issue eviction warnings to misbehaving tenants.
Plus Dane, based in Liverpool, is educating police officers in tenancy law so they can warn social housing tenants who misbehave they could lose their home.
The 12,500-home housing association last week trained seven officers from Merseyside Police with the help of Whiteheads solicitors. The scheme is likely to be expanded to officers from Cheshire police.
Nicola Andrews, neighbourhood investment manager at Plus Dane, said: ‘Every police officer should have a copy of partner housing providers tenancy agreements in their back pockets as they offer a wide range of sanctions for dealing with anti-social behaviour. For example, police officers may warn people that their behaviour could see them losing their home.’
A spokesperson for the association said the move would remove duplication, such as sending staff out to warn tenants they could lose their home when the police have already spoken to them.
The scheme was attacked as ‘appalling’ by Michael Gelling, chair of the Tenants’ and Residents’ Organisations of England, who said it risked stigmatising social tenants and interfering in the relationship between tenant and landlord.
He said: ‘This is the victimisation of registered social housing tenants. What about the owner-occupier next door doing the same thing? The police have to treat people the same.’
Mr Gelling said tenants were under no obligation to provide details about their tenure to the police.
Ken Perry, chief executive of Plus Dane, said police would not be asking for residents’ tenure details but would point out that if they are in social housing they could be evicted.
Plus Dane would not reveal the cost of the training courses, but Mr Perry said it did not cost extra as they are run for Plus Dane staff anyway.