Arrests after squatters stay in building

POLICE have arrested four people after squatters took possession of an historically important building in a market town.

POLICE have arrested four people after squatters took possession of an historically important building in a market town.

Yesterday's incident - at the former Girling's Bakery in Stowmarket - came just a day after bailiffs and police evicted a nuisance neighbour from her council house in Kingsmead Road in the town. Suffolk police said they were linking the two incidents.

Former squatter Rachel Morley was evicted from her house on Thursday, to the delight of neighbours who broke open champagne in celebration that their “nightmare” appeared to be at an end.

They claimed they had been subjected to a year of loud music, parties, vandalism and fighting going on at the house.


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It is believed Ms Morley, who was given the council house as the sole tenant, had been unable to leave her former squatter friends behind her and they had wanted to live at the house.

A police spokeswoman said yesterday: “Four people have been arrested on suspicion of burglary and abstracting electricity with relation to Girling's Bakery in Stowmarket and are being taken to Ipswich for questioning.

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“Officers have secured the premises. We are treating this incident as connected to the eviction at Kingsmead Road. We believe squatters had broken into the premises.”

Last night, police said the four people arrested were a 34-year-old female, men aged 25 and 19 and a 16-year-old boy.

The force was unable to confirm the identities of those arrested or whether Ms Morley was one of the four.

They added they were not aware of any problems in Kingsmead Road following Thursday's eviction.

A resident from the Stowupland Street area, who preferred not to be named, said squatters broke into the building in the early hours of yesterday morning and posted a sign in the window claiming their rights.

The disused building borders Regent Street, Stowupland Street and Union Street and is a wooden-framed building said to be of “rare construction”.

The four people arrested have now been released on police bail.

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