GREENWICH Council has started eviction proceedings against a council tenant who was convicted following the recent .
The Great Harry in Woolwich was burnt out, shops were robbed and retail barns in Charlton were looted as the high profile disturbances that shocked the country spread to the borough of Greenwich in August.
Greenwich.co.uk has learned that the convicted council tenant has been given a custodial sentence and the council has initiated legal proceedings to reclaim the empty property.
The tenant is one of four people in council-owned accommodation so far convicted of offences following the disturbances. Thirty-three council tenants have been charged by police with offences relating to events on the night of the 8th August.
The council was one of the first local authorities to announce its intention to evict "rioters" following the night of disturbances. In a statement the following day, council leader Chris Roberts said:
"We shall seek the eviction of anyone living in council property if they are found to have been engaged in criminal acts."
The Housing Act (1985) gives the council powers to evict tenants convicted of "an indictable offence committed in, or in the locality of, the dwelling house."
The information was disclosed in a letter to Councillor Spencer Drury, Leader of Greenwich Conservatives, by Council Chief Executive, Mary Ney. Councillor Drury commented:
"I am very supportive of the decision to evict the person convicted of an offence as a result of the riots. There are no other family members involved here and I think it sends a clear message that the Council will not tolerate this sort of behaviour from tentants in receipt of subsidised housing.
"However, I think the Council needs to ensure that this sort of zero tolerance approach is extended to other tenants whose behaviour falls below certain standards, not just those where a high profile event, like the riots, leads to action."
Two Greenwich Labour activists wrote an article for Greenwich.co.uk following the disorder saying they were "ashamed" the council was seeking to evict tenants.