This is the moment security forces became SAS and abseiled from the roof of a posh Class II London home – to help squatters evict it.
The team of ex-special forces veterans dramatically abseiled the front of the stunning 5,521 square foot lot in Bloomsbury Square at 4:30am.
They were needed to block the windows to prevent squatters from jumping out when bailiffs burst in through the front door of the Victorian-era house.
Squatters had found a home in the stylish old building – with beautiful rooms on the basement, ground floor and two upper floors, with a grand staircase leading through the middle.
The abseiling team called for today’s early rescue came from the Specialist Group International.
Comprised of former special forces, firefighters, police and military veterans, SGI is tasked by the police to secure evidence in impossible situations and safely evict protesters.
The group abseiled the front of the building to safely and respectfully remove the people squatting inside the posh Victorian-era London building in Bloomsbury Square
The team of ex-special forces veterans abseiled the front of the stunning property to keep squatters from trying to jump out of the windows
The group was equipped to conduct the early hours raid for bailiff Veritas
According to Peter Faulding, who was part of the operation this morning, squatters had “vandalized” the chic London shack.
Bailiffs stormed into the Bloomsbury building and evicted the illegal squatters in the dramatic scenes
Armed with £3million worth of equipment, two dogs, vans and even a helicopter, the group have previously removed protesters from oil platforms and even underground.
Employed by Bailiff Veritas, the SGI conducted an early morning raid on the squatters by ziplining down from the roof.
SGI group leader Peter Faulding, 59, known as the “human mole” because he can crawl through any room and get anywhere, said the operation went “safely.”
Peter, a former Sussex Parachute Regiment veteran, said his group’s operations have always aimed to remove people safely and respectfully.
After the removal, he said the house was “vandalized” by the squatters.
The father-of-three explained: “We’ve always developed a good relationship with protesters, in all the incidents we’ve dealt with we’ve never had an accident or aggression.
Specialist Group International is trained in evidence preservation, firefighting and rescue operations
Squatters are evicted from Bloomsbury House in London with the help of SGI members abseiling from the building’s top window
The former special forces blocked the windows so the squatters couldn’t find a quick way out
“These people in this building were squatters so it was a different approach but even though it’s a ‘raid’ we’re trying to be friendly and respectful.
“We were brought in by the bailiffs because we’re the group that deals with situations that other people can’t handle.
“This incident was a private move, so not a police matter, but I have dealt with every major protest since the Newbury Bypass protests in 1995.
“We are the only specialist protest removal team in the UK.”
Peter explains the group’s trick to dealing with people in volatile or unpredictable situations, saying the best approach is to offer them a coffee and be compassionate.
The team of ex-special forces veterans dramatically abseiled down the front of the stunning property at 4.30am in Bloomsbury
Employed by Bailiff Veritas, the SGI conducted an early morning ambush on the squatters at 4:30 am by ziplining down from the roof
The incident in the early hours of the morning was a private move, not a police matter, the group said
They were seen hanging from the gorgeous Victorian-era home during the SAS-style raid
“You just have to take care of everyone and treat everyone equally, give them a smile and help them get out safely. We have never had any problems with this.
“While the raid was similar to the 1980 raid on the Iranian embassy, Peter says the goal is not to go ‘tough’ but to get inside safely.
He explained: “It probably looked a bit like the siege. But like anything military, it’s about security.
“It wasn’t about being tough – it was about making sure people didn’t get hurt, that’s what we’re all about.
“The main reason for this strategy is to prevent them from getting onto the roof or balconies of the property.
“Once they are there, bailiffs always fail because it becomes too unsafe to remove them. You could fall or injure yourself.”
“However, we have a 100 percent safety record, so a few weeks ago we were tasked with launching the operation and rehearsed the plan beforehand under similar conditions.”
Specialist Group International is also trained in evidence preservation, firefighting and rescue operations.
Bloomsbury House was formerly used as an events venue but is currently advertised for rental by Aston Rose Chartered Surveyors.
Two members of the rappel team called for today’s early rescue
The squatters were thrown out of the building – where they had been staying
Bloomsbury House – where the squatters stayed – was formerly used as an events venue but is currently rented out by surveyors hired by Aston Rose
SGI staged an early-morning raid on the squatters by ziplining down from the roof
The squatters were seen with their belongings on the side of the road after being thrown out of the stunning London block