Scaredy Cap and the Boys in Blue


We all know certain Westminster Councillors are a bunch of cowards.

Unable to fight their own vindictive battles, they love to hide behind the Metropolitan Police and let them do their dirty work.

How very macho.

We can see their MO in full action in the case of lone anti-war campaigner Babs Tucker who has been at the receiving end of WC and the Met’s bully-boy tactics:

This is not an isolated case however as we see from this disturbing letter addressed to Councillor Melvyn ‘ Scaredy’ Caplan from the Legal Action for Women Group:

Dear Melvyn Caplan, 

It has been brought to our attention that Westminster Council is putting pressure on some landlords to evict women from their homes in Soho.

Landlords have been told that if they refuse to carry out the evictions, compulsory purchase orders will  be used to buy the properties ‘to ensure they are returned to residential use’.

At the same time, property developers are making enquiries about the same premises. 

These flats are already in residential use. Evicting their tenants could make over 30 people homeless

While there has been no complaint against any of the women targeted, the most recent edition of the residents’ community newspaper, The Soho Clarion, reports numerous complaints from local residents who oppose Westminster Council granting more late night closing licences to pubs, clubs and restaurants.

We understand Westminster receives £20,000 a year for each sex establishment licence and around £500 for each pub and club late opening licence. 

Westminster Council has been using police time and resources to collect information about women’s lives in an attempt to intimidate them.

With the excuse of looking for young girls or women who may be victims of trafficking, officers have demanded entry into flats, searching women’s personal belongings, questioning them about their living situation and passing on the Housing Department.

More recently officers have been posted for long periods of time outside some flats, taking people’s names and addresses as they leave.

Housing officers have also pushed their way into women’s flats, taking photos and measuring rooms. 

All these activities are illegal since no search warrant has been produced, and in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights regarding the right to privacy and to protection from interference by public authorities. Article 8 states:   

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.   

2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of   his right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health and morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedom of others. 

Is the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, John Stevens aware of the illegal way his force is being used? The people targeted are acting entirely within their legal rights, and we intend to challenge any further attempt at eviction. 

At a time when the criminal justice system has been shown to be grossly deficient in protecting women from rape and other violence, can you justify this outrageous misuse of police time and resources?

Most of the women who are being targeted are mothers and/or grandmothers supporting their families. Hounding them out of their flats will make all women more vulnerable to violence.

In 1995, after Westminster carried out evictions in Soho, two women who had been forced out and had moved to the Midlands were murdered.

Soho has not forgotten this.

Westminster’s pressure for evictions is already resulting in outright brutality a young woman was recently turned out of her flat and onto the street by the police and bailiffs, without her possessions, including her clothes. 

Westminster Council’s integrity on property dealing has been shown in the past to be seriously deficient.

How can you justify your attempts to make women homeless while encouraging property developers and other practices which destroy affordable residential accommodation and change the nature of Soho against the interests of the local community?”

What a bunch of bastwards they truly are.

Of course, quite why the MET are so willing to do WC’s bidding is anyone’s guess.

We have our suspicions though, that, as with most things related to Westminster Council, it all leads back to Shirley Porter.

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