SQUATTERS who moved into an empty department store just days after it closed to the public have been evicted.

The group moved into BHS, in Southend High Street, on August 3.

Police and bailiffs turned up at the former department store at about 6.30am on Monday.

An Essex Police spokesman said: Police have assisted bailiffs to evict six people squatting in the empty former BHS site on Southend High Street.

“Five officers and ten bailiffs entered the site at around 6.30am today (Monday, August 22) and removed the people squatting there.

“No-one was arrested.

“Private security has now secured the site.”

Sgt Ian Hughes, of Southend’s community policing team, tweeted about the eviction while the operation was ongoing.

He said: “Eviction day is here at BHS, joint working with the enforcement agency. #TeamWork #NoToSquatting.”


He later told the Echo: “People squatting in empty buildings can cause damage to those properties as well as anti-social behaviour and disruption to nearby businesses and residents.

“I would urge any landlords with empty commercial premises to ensure they are properly secure and regularly check their security arrangements.”