Protestors outside the Court of Session, Wednesday 28th August 2019

Over 100 lock-change evictions have now been temporarily blocked by Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Lawyers representing people affected by the policy argue that lock change evictions without court orders are unlawful. They are seeking interim interdicts from the Sheriff Court on a case-by-case basis as a means of protecting people at risk of summary eviction, while the law is being clarified.

The blocking of one hundred lock-change evictions by Glasgow Sheriff Court is a huge milestone, but it is clear at this stage that Serco and the Home Office are charging on with their evictions policy regardless. Scottish Refugee Council is aware of five people who have been made homeless as a result of lock-change evictions in the past month. These lock changes may subsequently be found to be unlawful, depending on the outcome of the appeal in the case of Ali vs Serco and the Home Office, which was heard on Wednesday 28th August.

Those who have been locked out will no doubt end up on the streets, and it is clear that Serco are planning mass evictions on Glasgow’s streets in the coming days and weeks. We are stepping up calls for Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government to do what they can to prevent this from happening, and call for an urgent summit on destitution in Scotland.

However, as our CEO Sabir Zazai explained passionately on Wednesday outside the Court of Session in Edinburgh, “This is not just about Serco – it is about how the Home Office uses homelessness and eviction as deterrents against people seeking refuge.”

Chris Pettigrew
Author: Chris Pettigrew