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List of empty residential properties in Enfield Borough

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Dear Enfield Homes,
I would like to have a list of empty residential properties within enfield bourogh owend by enfield council or privately owned.

Yours faithfully,

Mr WA Chaudhry

Mark Morgan,

Classification: PROTECT

Dear Mr Chaudhry,


Thank you for you Freedom of Information request.


Unfortunately, I am refusing disclosure under Section 31 of the Freedom of
Information Act. We will not release details of empty properties.


Section 31 of the Freedom of Information Act in this Authority’s view
applies to this request. This section provides that information is exempt
from disclosure if such disclosure would prejudice the “prevention or
detection of crime.” Putting the addresses of empty properties within the
borough into the public domain would in the Authority’s view compromise
the security of the buildings concerned and would prejudice the objectives
of preventing criminal behaviour.


We consider there is a significant risk that releasing details of empty
properties might lead to burglary, arson or squatting. Within the borough
there have been occasions recently when fires have been set in empty
properties. In relation to domestic and commercial empty properties, there
is also known use of such empty properties to commit benefit fraud,
identity fraud and money laundering.


We have consulted with other Boroughs who have also received similar
requests. We have been advised that concerns have also been expressed by
the Metropolitan Police. These concerns indicate that release of the
information sought would in the Police’s view increase the potential for
properties to be targeted by squatters, by criminals or terrorists. We
have consulted our local police and they have confirmed the number of
incidents of crimes carried out on empty properties, and their view is
that by disclosing this information would prejudice the prevention of


These incidents would support the concerns the Authority has as to the
prejudice to the prevention of crime in the borough if the information was
disclosed. The Act does not allow the Council to enquire as to motives,
nor do we have any control over the distribution of the information once
it is released into the public domain.


Section 31 is a qualified exemption to which the public interest test must
be applied. There do not appear to be any obvious public interest
considerations that would weigh in favour of disclosure beyond that
wherever possible it is in the public interest for them to have access to
information. There is however, in our view, clear public interest
considerations that weigh in favour of not disclosing the information
since to do so would prejudice the objective of prevention of crime, which
is of course in everyone’s interest. Having considered whether the public
interest weighs in favour of disclosure or non-disclosure, in this
instance the Authority has decided that it is not in the public interest
to release such information. I would add to this that our approach has
been borne out by the Judgement of Judge Jacobs in relation to the appeal
to the upper Tribunal on the Camden case concerning squatters.


If you are not happy with this decision then you have the option for it to
be reviewed by sending an email to [1] [email address]


Yours sincerely



Mark Morgan

Operations Manager, Customer Services, Council Housing

Regeneration & Environment

Enfield Council

The Edmonton Centre, 36-44 South Mall

Edmonton, London

N9 0TN



Tel: 0800 40 80 160

Email: [2][email address]

Web: www.enfield.gov.uk


‘Enfield Council is committed to serving the whole borough fairly,
delivering excellent services and building strong communities.’


Classification: PROTECT


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