This is the moment security turned SAS and abseiled off the roof of a posh Grade II London home – to help evict squatters.
The team of ex-special forces veterans dramatically roped down the front of the stunning 5,521sqft property at 4.30am, located on Bloomsbury Square.
They were needed to block the windows to stop squatters jumping out as bailiffs stormed inside through the front door of the Victorian-era home.
Squatters had found themselves a home in the stylish, period building – which has gorgeous rooms in the basement, ground and two upper floors, with a grand staircase running through the centre.
The abseiling team called in for today’s early morning job were from ‘Specialist Group International’.
Made up of former special forces, fire, police and military veterans, SGI is contracted by the police to recover evidence in impossible situations and evict protestors safely.
The group roped down the front of the building in a bid to safely and respectfully removed the people – who had been squatting in the posh Victorian-era London building on Bloomsbury Square
The team of ex-special forces veterans roped down the front of the stunning property so that the squatters didn’t try and jump from the windows
The group were kitted out to do the raid in the early hours of the morning for bailiffs Veritas
Kitted out with £3million worth of equipment, two dogs, vans, and even a helicopter, the group have previously removed protestors from oil rigs and even underground.
Hired out by bailiffs Veritas, the SGI executed an early morning raid on the squatters by descending down on zip-lines from the roof.
SGI group Leader Peter Faulding, 59, known as the ‘human mole’ for his ability to crawl through any space and get anywhere, said the operation had gone ‘safely’.
Peter, a former Parachute Regiment veteran from Sussex, said that his group’s operations were always aimed at safely and respectfully removing people.
After the removal, he said that the house had been ‘trashed’ by the squatters in the building.
The father of three explained: ‘We’ve always built a good relationship with protestors, in all the incidents we’ve dealt with we’ve never had an accident or aggression.
Specialist Group International are trained in evidence recovery, firefighting and rescue operations
Squatters are evicted from Bloomsbury House in London with the help of members from SGI abseiling from the top window of the building
‘These people in this building were squatters, so it was a different approach, but despite it being a ‘raid’ we try to be kind and respectful.
‘We were brought in by the bailiffs because we’re the group that deals with situations other people cant deal with.
‘This incident was a private removal, so not a police matter, but I’ve dealt with every major protest since the Newbury bypass protests in 1995.
‘We’re the only specialist protester removal team in the UK.’
Saying the group’s trick to handling people in volatile or unpredictable circumstances, Peter says the best approach is to offer them a coffee and be compassionate.
The team of ex-special forces veterans dramatically roped down the front of the stunning property at 4.30am in Bloomsbury
Hired out by bailiffs Veritas, the SGI executed an early morning raid on the squatters at 4:30am by descending down on zip-lines from the roof
The incident in the early hours of the morning was a private removal, not a police matter, the group said
‘You just have to be caring and treat everyone the same, give them a smile and help them safely get out. We’ve never had any problems as a result.
‘While the raid may have resembled the 1980 Iranian Embassy Raid, Peter says the goal isn’t to go in ‘hard’, but safely.
He explained: ‘It probably looked a bit like the siege. But like anything military, it’s all about safety.
‘This wasn’t about going in hard – it was about making sure people didn’t get injured, that’s what we are about.
‘The main reason for that strategy is to prevent them getting onto the roof or balconies of the property.
‘Once they are on there bailiffs operations always fail because it becomes too unsafe to try and remove them. They could fall or get hurt.’
‘We have 100 per cent safety record though, so we were contracted a few weeks ago to launch the operation and rehearsed the plan before hand in similar conditions.’
Specialist Group International are also trained in evidence recovery, firefighting and rescue operations.
Bloomsbury House was previously used as a event venue, but is currently advertised to be let out by Aston Rose chartered surveyors.
Two members of the abseiling team, who were called in for today’s early morning job
The squatters were kicked out of the building – where they had been living