River police evict 17 boats moored illegally in Hampton

Notice served: The boats in Hampton

Notice served: The boats in Hampton

First published in News Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

Illegally moored boats in Hampton have been ordered to leave that part of the river.

A total of 17 boats, moored next to Thames Water in Lower Sunbury Road, were served eviction notices on Friday, August 15, which required the vessels to be removed from the riverbank by Tuesday, August 19.

The eviction was carried out by officers from Hampton local policing team and the Marine Police Unit alongside the Thames Water enforcement team.

Acting Police Sergeant Michael Somers from the Hampton local police team, said: "This is part of an ongoing operation where the Metropolitan Police Service is assisting land owners to remove boats moored without permission.

"We have previously worked with councils and the Environment Agency however, in this case, we have partnered with Thames Water.

"Apart from being unsightly, many of these boats have caused issues with local residents in relation to antisocial behaviour - including noise, toilet waste in the river and fly-tipping."

The eviction comes days after river users said people felt intimated walking past boats moored at Teddington Lock One river user, who did not want to be named, said they fully supported enforcement action by any agency and said that they hoped more "dreadful" boats would be removed once the council obtain a bylaw, which would allow easier eviction of riverboats moored illegally.

Councillor Pamela Fleming, cabinet member for environment, said: "The council supports this co-ordinated approach which should bring about the removal of illegally moored vessels on the Thames in Hampton.

"As part of the ongoing process to address this issue, Richmond Council has worked closely with the Environment Agency and Marine Police Unity to carry out similar activities to evict illegally moored vessels on the Thames."

Comments (10)

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11:56am Thu 21 Aug 14

Mind the gap says...

"One river user, who did not want to be named, said they fully supported enforcement action by any agency and said that they hoped more "dreadful" boats would be removed once the council obtain a bylaw, which would allow easier eviction of riverboats moored illegally."

First world problems.
"One river user, who did not want to be named, said they fully supported enforcement action by any agency and said that they hoped more "dreadful" boats would be removed once the council obtain a bylaw, which would allow easier eviction of riverboats moored illegally." First world problems. Mind the gap
  • Score: 2

10:31am Fri 22 Aug 14

Mikeysplay says...

Its so sad. England is a country where the homeless are forgotten or moved on and People who try make a better life than being out on the street also get moved on too. where is it ok to make more people homeless for the sake of an empty river bank
Its so sad. England is a country where the homeless are forgotten or moved on and People who try make a better life than being out on the street also get moved on too. where is it ok to make more people homeless for the sake of an empty river bank Mikeysplay
  • Score: -2

12:57pm Fri 22 Aug 14

bandit63 says...

Did you actually raed why they were moved on? Leaving rubbish, putting toilet waste in the river and anti social behaviour. . Yes they were illegally "parked", but I bet that if they had been more responsible, then there wouldn't have been so much of a push. More needs to be done for "homeless" people (the defintion is so wide and subjective), but I would have more sympathy for the people who got evicted if they had behaved in a more social way.....
Did you actually raed why they were moved on? Leaving rubbish, putting toilet waste in the river and anti social behaviour. . Yes they were illegally "parked", but I bet that if they had been more responsible, then there wouldn't have been so much of a push. More needs to be done for "homeless" people (the defintion is so wide and subjective), but I would have more sympathy for the people who got evicted if they had behaved in a more social way..... bandit63
  • Score: 6

12:36pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Miranda Gray says...

I can't speak for those at Hampton, but at Teddington Lock the river community clean up after themselves and their pets. Why wouldn't we - it's our home. Most of the rubbish and dog faeces are left by people walking or fishing along the towpath, and we clean up after those as well. Why? Because, unlike the picture of us that's been portrayed in the press,, we are actually regular people who have simply chosen a river lifestyle and we try to respect our environment. We pay our boat licence fees and empty our waste at the proper lock facilities. Just because we live on the river doesn't automatically mean every one of us on basic hygiene and keeping the place tidy. That's not to say that, like any community of people, there aren't one or two elements that don't try as hard and we don't like that as much as anyone else.
I can't speak for those at Hampton, but at Teddington Lock the river community clean up after themselves and their pets. Why wouldn't we - it's our home. Most of the rubbish and dog faeces are left by people walking or fishing along the towpath, and we clean up after those as well. Why? Because, unlike the picture of us that's been portrayed in the press,, we are actually regular people who have simply chosen a river lifestyle and we try to respect our environment. We pay our boat licence fees and empty our waste at the proper lock facilities. Just because we live on the river doesn't automatically mean every one of us on basic hygiene and keeping the place tidy. That's not to say that, like any community of people, there aren't one or two elements that don't try as hard and we don't like that as much as anyone else. Miranda Gray
  • Score: 1

12:45pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Miranda Gray says...

I would also add that with regard to Teddington Lock, we are NOT currently moored illegally as it is public land and there IS no law against mooring there. That is why Richmond Council are attempting to pass a bylaw to make it illegal. Until then however, they seem to think it's ok to use bullying tactics in threatening to evict us when they have no legal backing to do so.
It's also worth mentioning that, should they be successful in passing a bylaw, they will be contravening several significant laws, including the European Convention on Human Rights, and their own Duty of Care regulations which say that any laws that are passed should not result in homelessness.
I would also add that with regard to Teddington Lock, we are NOT currently moored illegally as it is public land and there IS no law against mooring there. That is why Richmond Council are attempting to pass a bylaw to make it illegal. Until then however, they seem to think it's ok to use bullying tactics in threatening to evict us when they have no legal backing to do so. It's also worth mentioning that, should they be successful in passing a bylaw, they will be contravening several significant laws, including the European Convention on Human Rights, and their own Duty of Care regulations which say that any laws that are passed should not result in homelessness. Miranda Gray
  • Score: -3

10:59am Mon 25 Aug 14

Matthames says...

What about the rights of other river users? You lot have been squatting at Ham nature reserve for years, preventing visiting boats and genuine permanent cruisers from mooring there.
No one is making you homeless, you can pay for moorings at teddington lock, just like everybody else has had to since the occupation.
And where does your sewage go? The nearest pump out is molesey, but none of you move.
Don't expect sympathy when your lifestyle choice affects other peoples enjoyment of the river and the health of the river itself.
What about the rights of other river users? You lot have been squatting at Ham nature reserve for years, preventing visiting boats and genuine permanent cruisers from mooring there. No one is making you homeless, you can pay for moorings at teddington lock, just like everybody else has had to since the occupation. And where does your sewage go? The nearest pump out is molesey, but none of you move. Don't expect sympathy when your lifestyle choice affects other peoples enjoyment of the river and the health of the river itself. Matthames
  • Score: 8

7:54pm Mon 25 Aug 14

Miranda Gray says...

Matthames wrote:
What about the rights of other river users? You lot have been squatting at Ham nature reserve for years, preventing visiting boats and genuine permanent cruisers from mooring there.
No one is making you homeless, you can pay for moorings at teddington lock, just like everybody else has had to since the occupation.
And where does your sewage go? The nearest pump out is molesey, but none of you move.
Don't expect sympathy when your lifestyle choice affects other peoples enjoyment of the river and the health of the river itself.
You are quite welcome to come and moor near Teddington Lock yourself, should you so wish to. There are currently spaces along the river bank.

It is inaccurate to say that we don't move - those with toilet facilities on board regularly go to Molesey to empty tanks and the boats that don't have their own facilities have memberships at the local leisure centre or use the toilets at Teddington Lock.

Us 'lot' are human beings as well and I find it sad that people are so quick to judge and make assumptions that are not true. Have you ever taken the time to come and meet us? You'd find that we're quite nice people really.
[quote][p][bold]Matthames[/bold] wrote: What about the rights of other river users? You lot have been squatting at Ham nature reserve for years, preventing visiting boats and genuine permanent cruisers from mooring there. No one is making you homeless, you can pay for moorings at teddington lock, just like everybody else has had to since the occupation. And where does your sewage go? The nearest pump out is molesey, but none of you move. Don't expect sympathy when your lifestyle choice affects other peoples enjoyment of the river and the health of the river itself.[/p][/quote]You are quite welcome to come and moor near Teddington Lock yourself, should you so wish to. There are currently spaces along the river bank. It is inaccurate to say that we don't move - those with toilet facilities on board regularly go to Molesey to empty tanks and the boats that don't have their own facilities have memberships at the local leisure centre or use the toilets at Teddington Lock. Us 'lot' are human beings as well and I find it sad that people are so quick to judge and make assumptions that are not true. Have you ever taken the time to come and meet us? You'd find that we're quite nice people really. Miranda Gray
  • Score: -1

7:57pm Mon 25 Aug 14

Miranda Gray says...

Matthames wrote:
What about the rights of other river users? You lot have been squatting at Ham nature reserve for years, preventing visiting boats and genuine permanent cruisers from mooring there.
No one is making you homeless, you can pay for moorings at teddington lock, just like everybody else has had to since the occupation.
And where does your sewage go? The nearest pump out is molesey, but none of you move.
Don't expect sympathy when your lifestyle choice affects other peoples enjoyment of the river and the health of the river itself.
You are quite welcome to come and moor near Teddington Lock yourself, should you so wish to. There are currently spaces along the river bank.

It is inaccurate to say that we don't move - those with toilet facilities on board regularly go to Molesey to empty tanks and the boats that don't have their own facilities have memberships at the local leisure centre or use the toilets at Teddington Lock.

Us 'lot' are human beings as well and I find it sad that people are so quick to judge and make assumptions that are not true. Have you ever taken the time to come and meet us? You'd find that we're quite nice people really.
[quote][p][bold]Matthames[/bold] wrote: What about the rights of other river users? You lot have been squatting at Ham nature reserve for years, preventing visiting boats and genuine permanent cruisers from mooring there. No one is making you homeless, you can pay for moorings at teddington lock, just like everybody else has had to since the occupation. And where does your sewage go? The nearest pump out is molesey, but none of you move. Don't expect sympathy when your lifestyle choice affects other peoples enjoyment of the river and the health of the river itself.[/p][/quote]You are quite welcome to come and moor near Teddington Lock yourself, should you so wish to. There are currently spaces along the river bank. It is inaccurate to say that we don't move - those with toilet facilities on board regularly go to Molesey to empty tanks and the boats that don't have their own facilities have memberships at the local leisure centre or use the toilets at Teddington Lock. Us 'lot' are human beings as well and I find it sad that people are so quick to judge and make assumptions that are not true. Have you ever taken the time to come and meet us? You'd find that we're quite nice people really. Miranda Gray
  • Score: -1

1:01am Thu 28 Aug 14

Matthames says...

I wish your post rang true, but I'm sorry to say that some of those boats still dump sewage into the Thames despite previous successful prosecutions. If you use the lock bin then you are in the minority, as is obvious from a walk along the towpath, past the piles of rubbish, bikes chained to trees and dogs mess. It's not the locals who have turned that beautiful stretch of river into an eyesore.
A lot of council tax payers money has been wasted on this, I believe that none of those boats pay council tax. One of these days, no one will be able to moor anywhere without paying a parking official and it will come about because the minority(who call themselves boaters but never go anywhere by boat)have spoiled it for everybody else.
I cringe when I see human rights cited as a justification for squatting, as if mooring a boat for free in the suburbs of London is a human right.
I wish your post rang true, but I'm sorry to say that some of those boats still dump sewage into the Thames despite previous successful prosecutions. If you use the lock bin then you are in the minority, as is obvious from a walk along the towpath, past the piles of rubbish, bikes chained to trees and dogs mess. It's not the locals who have turned that beautiful stretch of river into an eyesore. A lot of council tax payers money has been wasted on this, I believe that none of those boats pay council tax. One of these days, no one will be able to moor anywhere without paying a parking official and it will come about because the minority(who call themselves boaters but never go anywhere by boat)have spoiled it for everybody else. I cringe when I see human rights cited as a justification for squatting, as if mooring a boat for free in the suburbs of London is a human right. Matthames
  • Score: 7

10:08pm Fri 5 Sep 14

manyhigg62 says...

i think it is very sad how the people who live on their boats are judged by others who know nothing of them. yes some let there dogs fowl the footpaths, so do people who live in houses and take there dogs to the local park or take their dogs for a weekly walk down the footpath. their are boat people who leave their rubbish everywhere, as there are house dwellers who do the same. i often walk my dog past the boats in hampton and have nothing but praise and respect for them. i have seen them go out in little rowing boats to rescue dogs that have been in trouble in the river, putting themselves at risk. they have always gone out of their way to be friendly and helpful to me. i have spoken to many of them who say they would be more than happy to pay a fee for their moorings at the waterboard in hampton. Do any of you narrow minded, judgmental people realise that the river people could be taking up valuable and scarce council houses? i think if you look on richmond housing website, one of the criteria for emergency housing is if you live on a boat with no mooring. These people may be saving the council money as they are not asking for housing and other benefits, they are trying to help themselves. maybe we should open our minds a little, and give them a break. next time you walk past the boats, try saying hi and having a chat, they dont bite, you may even be offered a cuppa tea.
i think it is very sad how the people who live on their boats are judged by others who know nothing of them. yes some let there dogs fowl the footpaths, so do people who live in houses and take there dogs to the local park or take their dogs for a weekly walk down the footpath. their are boat people who leave their rubbish everywhere, as there are house dwellers who do the same. i often walk my dog past the boats in hampton and have nothing but praise and respect for them. i have seen them go out in little rowing boats to rescue dogs that have been in trouble in the river, putting themselves at risk. they have always gone out of their way to be friendly and helpful to me. i have spoken to many of them who say they would be more than happy to pay a fee for their moorings at the waterboard in hampton. Do any of you narrow minded, judgmental people realise that the river people could be taking up valuable and scarce council houses? i think if you look on richmond housing website, one of the criteria for emergency housing is if you live on a boat with no mooring. These people may be saving the council money as they are not asking for housing and other benefits, they are trying to help themselves. maybe we should open our minds a little, and give them a break. next time you walk past the boats, try saying hi and having a chat, they dont bite, you may even be offered a cuppa tea. manyhigg62
  • Score: -2

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