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Squatters evicted from former art gallery in Primrose Hill

PUBLISHED: 11:17 30 July 2013 | UPDATED: 11:39 30 July 2013

Manager of the Primrose Hill Community Association Mick Hudspeth thinks rising rents are the cause of empty shops in Primrose Hill, which squatters can then move into. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Manager of the Primrose Hill Community Association Mick Hudspeth thinks rising rents are the cause of empty shops in Primrose Hill, which squatters can then move into. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Two squatters who moved into a former art gallery in Primrose Hill for two months have been evicted, with one handed a caution for possessing class A drugs.

A 28-year-old man and 22-year-old woman were kicked out when police officers came knocking at the vacant shop in Regent’s Park Road on Wednesday, July 24.

A bag full of drug equipment and class A drugs, including ecstasy tablets, were found at the shop, which used to be the Primrose Hill Gallery.

A repossession order had already been issued by court bailiffs to get rid of the squatters but officers from Camden’s Neighbourhood Police Team stepped in to enforce the notice.

Residents had reported late night anti-social behaviour and suspicions about drug abuse at the property. When police arrived, the pair were presented with a bailiff’s order and the shop was searched.

The 28-year-old man was arrested for possession of Class A drugs and received a caution for the offence.

Manager of Primrose Hill Community Association, Mick Hudspeth, said: “It’s good that they’ve been thrown out because there are a few empty properties and we don’t want to see that sort of thing in the area.

“A lot of the problem is with rising rents being so high, because it is Primrose Hill. If landlords could be more reasonable, shops would fill up more quickly, which would deal with the squatters.”

Primrose Hill Gallery owner Monty Franks closed his business in the autumn of last year. Since then the shop has been left vacant.

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