Squatters check in at bankrupt Swindon hotel

Swindon Advertiser: Parade manager Brian Morris said evidence of squatters and drug use has been found in the empty Menzies Swindon Hotel Parade manager Brian Morris said evidence of squatters and drug use has been found in the empty Menzies Swindon Hotel

Drug users and squatters are breaking into and making a home for themselves at the former Menzies Swindon Hotel.

The intruders have smashed rear windows to get into the abandoned four-star hotel on the corner of Fleming Way and Islington Street .

It has been empty since The Menzies Hotel Group was sold to international property and investment group Topland on November 29, which forced its immediate closure.

Almost 50 staff were made redundant and Christmas parties were cancelled with just hours’ notice.

Brian Morris, centre manager for The Parade, which incorporates the Menzies site, said: “We check the building when we can.

“Some areas of the building have been trashed and we have actually found people sleeping in the building.

“There have been no fires. Thankfully there’s been nothing like that, but we have found evidence of needles in the building. We have, of course, moved people on when we’ve found them.

“I have seen just four people we have needed to move on.

“There is evidence of other visits, but those four are the only ones I am aware of.

“The place is basically secure now. The broken windows at the back of the property were boarded up this week.”

He said furniture or moveable items in the building have been moved out.

A Wiltshire Police spokesman said officers had been called to the site five times since January 1, with the most recent incident taking place on Wednesday, when two males had reportedly entered the building.

Both offenders were spoken to by officers, who were called to the scene by the owners of the building.

Dog handlers have also been at the building in recent weeks, clearing out the building where necessary.

“On each occasion we have attended the scene and several times there has been evidence that homeless people are living inside,” he said.

“The Neighbourhood Policing Team are patrolling the area and keeping a close eye on the Menzies, but we would ask people to call 101 immediately if they see any suspicious activity in the area.”

Since the Menzies group stopped trading November, Ignis Asset Management, the building’s owner  has been pursuing lease guarantors who are responsible for seeing it remarketed and filled by another business.

Portfolio manager David Rodger said there will be a development with guarantors in the next seven days.

“If our pursuit of the guarantors on the lease comes to nothing we will step in and remarket the property,” he said.

“We hope to lease it to another hotel operator. We would prefer the property to be occupied and trading.”

Comments (22)

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7:10am Fri 10 Jan 14

house on the hill says...

So they can throw out paying guests and not pay back those who have booked but they cant chuck out squatters and druggies. It really is a very strange society we live in!
So they can throw out paying guests and not pay back those who have booked but they cant chuck out squatters and druggies. It really is a very strange society we live in! house on the hill

7:30am Fri 10 Jan 14

Blind Fury says...

I wonder if they're entitled to a continental breakfast too?
I wonder if they're entitled to a continental breakfast too? Blind Fury

8:31am Fri 10 Jan 14

house on the hill says...

house on the hill wrote:
So they can throw out paying guests and not pay back those who have booked but they cant chuck out squatters and druggies. It really is a very strange society we live in!
And my point is being proved by the thumbs voting. I pass an opinion that law abiding people are treated worse than those who stick 2 fingers up at the law and some don't like it. I bet you would go crazy if your house was burgled and the law told you to sod off. Idiots.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: So they can throw out paying guests and not pay back those who have booked but they cant chuck out squatters and druggies. It really is a very strange society we live in![/p][/quote]And my point is being proved by the thumbs voting. I pass an opinion that law abiding people are treated worse than those who stick 2 fingers up at the law and some don't like it. I bet you would go crazy if your house was burgled and the law told you to sod off. Idiots. house on the hill

8:50am Fri 10 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

house on the hill wrote:
So they can throw out paying guests and not pay back those who have booked but they cant chuck out squatters and druggies. It really is a very strange society we live in!
The law has been firmly on the side of the criminals for many years now, with no signs of the arrangement changing any time soon.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: So they can throw out paying guests and not pay back those who have booked but they cant chuck out squatters and druggies. It really is a very strange society we live in![/p][/quote]The law has been firmly on the side of the criminals for many years now, with no signs of the arrangement changing any time soon. ChannelX

9:01am Fri 10 Jan 14

Davethered says...

Yet another massive building in the Town centre , that will be left to decay. Let the sally army take it on for a few years , they have all ready got the rooms prepared. That way they can provide proper rooms legally for the homeless.
Yet another massive building in the Town centre , that will be left to decay. Let the sally army take it on for a few years , they have all ready got the rooms prepared. That way they can provide proper rooms legally for the homeless. Davethered

9:04am Fri 10 Jan 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

I thought squatters rights had been removed.

Quote "Both offenders were spoken to by officers"...

Surely both offenders were ARRESTED by officers?
I thought squatters rights had been removed. Quote "Both offenders were spoken to by officers"... Surely both offenders were ARRESTED by officers? LordAshOfTheBrake

11:03am Fri 10 Jan 14

AllyT says...

Davethered wrote:
Yet another massive building in the Town centre , that will be left to decay. Let the sally army take it on for a few years , they have all ready got the rooms prepared. That way they can provide proper rooms legally for the homeless.
What a great idea... sadly it will never happen :-(
[quote][p][bold]Davethered[/bold] wrote: Yet another massive building in the Town centre , that will be left to decay. Let the sally army take it on for a few years , they have all ready got the rooms prepared. That way they can provide proper rooms legally for the homeless.[/p][/quote]What a great idea... sadly it will never happen :-( AllyT

11:04am Fri 10 Jan 14

PJC says...

Why hasn't it been boarded up if it's empty? That's asking for trouble.
Why hasn't it been boarded up if it's empty? That's asking for trouble. PJC

11:29am Fri 10 Jan 14

umpcah says...

PJC wrote:
Why hasn't it been boarded up if it's empty? That's asking for trouble.
Penniless illegal immigrants have to shelter somewhere !
[quote][p][bold]PJC[/bold] wrote: Why hasn't it been boarded up if it's empty? That's asking for trouble.[/p][/quote]Penniless illegal immigrants have to shelter somewhere ! umpcah

11:32am Fri 10 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

LordAshOfTheBrake wrote:
I thought squatters rights had been removed.

Quote "Both offenders were spoken to by officers"...

Surely both offenders were ARRESTED by officers?
Yes, squatting is now illegal and a criminal offence.

The criminals concerned were given a 'talking to' by police, which I'm sure scared them out of their minds.

Of course they should have been arrested and charged and, of course, they were not arrested or charged.

Haven't you realised we're forced to pay for a Criminal Justice System that doesn't actually care what criminals do?

There's a very good article this week about the latest unduly lenient and complete non-sentencing by our 'learned' judiciary. The only question is: who will stop these people?

is.gd/Qvem31
[quote][p][bold]LordAshOfTheBrake[/bold] wrote: I thought squatters rights had been removed. Quote "Both offenders were spoken to by officers"... Surely both offenders were ARRESTED by officers?[/p][/quote]Yes, squatting is now illegal and a criminal offence. The criminals concerned were given a 'talking to' by police, which I'm sure scared them out of their minds. Of course they should have been arrested and charged and, of course, they were not arrested or charged. Haven't you realised we're forced to pay for a Criminal Justice System that doesn't actually care what criminals do? There's a very good article this week about the latest unduly lenient and complete non-sentencing by our 'learned' judiciary. The only question is: who will stop these people? is.gd/Qvem31 ChannelX

11:34am Fri 10 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

Davethered wrote:
Yet another massive building in the Town centre , that will be left to decay. Let the sally army take it on for a few years , they have all ready got the rooms prepared. That way they can provide proper rooms legally for the homeless.
Leaving aside the fact there aren't actually enough homeless in Swindon to fill half the rooms, that idea would never work because it doesn't involve any criminality.

Only the criminals get to do what they please in this country.
[quote][p][bold]Davethered[/bold] wrote: Yet another massive building in the Town centre , that will be left to decay. Let the sally army take it on for a few years , they have all ready got the rooms prepared. That way they can provide proper rooms legally for the homeless.[/p][/quote]Leaving aside the fact there aren't actually enough homeless in Swindon to fill half the rooms, that idea would never work because it doesn't involve any criminality. Only the criminals get to do what they please in this country. ChannelX

11:38am Fri 10 Jan 14

Robin1986 says...

If Menzies was 4 Star then Swindon is the centre of the universe! It was a hole of a hotel, drug paraphernalia has always been found in that area, especially on the flat roof that overlooks Fleming Way, having worked there in the past as a contractor I can tell you that needles, syringe's and even plastic bags of excrement are not un-common. The best thing that can happen to the building and the town is that it gets knocked down, and started again!
If Menzies was 4 Star then Swindon is the centre of the universe! It was a hole of a hotel, drug paraphernalia has always been found in that area, especially on the flat roof that overlooks Fleming Way, having worked there in the past as a contractor I can tell you that needles, syringe's and even plastic bags of excrement are not un-common. The best thing that can happen to the building and the town is that it gets knocked down, and started again! Robin1986

12:10pm Fri 10 Jan 14

ManWithCar says...

Davethered wrote:
Yet another massive building in the Town centre , that will be left to decay. Let the sally army take it on for a few years , they have all ready got the rooms prepared. That way they can provide proper rooms legally for the homeless.
If they do, let's hope they don't scam the DWP for "elderly" residents increased payments per week like they did for David House back in the 80s. Yes - they claimed extra payments for residents well below the age of 60, pretending they were elderly and therefore entitled to extra money.
[quote][p][bold]Davethered[/bold] wrote: Yet another massive building in the Town centre , that will be left to decay. Let the sally army take it on for a few years , they have all ready got the rooms prepared. That way they can provide proper rooms legally for the homeless.[/p][/quote]If they do, let's hope they don't scam the DWP for "elderly" residents increased payments per week like they did for David House back in the 80s. Yes - they claimed extra payments for residents well below the age of 60, pretending they were elderly and therefore entitled to extra money. ManWithCar

12:39pm Fri 10 Jan 14

blahblahblahblah says...

homeless, jobless and drug users arent charged because they cant afford the fines. it's all about money. Dealing with crime and punishment are secondary to making a profit.
homeless, jobless and drug users arent charged because they cant afford the fines. it's all about money. Dealing with crime and punishment are secondary to making a profit. blahblahblahblah

12:54pm Fri 10 Jan 14

mikeinwanborough says...

ChannelX wrote:
Davethered wrote:
Yet another massive building in the Town centre , that will be left to decay. Let the sally army take it on for a few years , they have all ready got the rooms prepared. That way they can provide proper rooms legally for the homeless.
Leaving aside the fact there aren't actually enough homeless in Swindon to fill half the rooms, that idea would never work because it doesn't involve any criminality.

Only the criminals get to do what they please in this country.
I think you would be surprised at the number of homeless people in Swindon. They may not be apparent on the streets, but there are a significant number of people sofa-surfing, sharing rooms in hostels and in places such as Booth House, where their stay is limited. The number of people using the Christmas Shelter at Queens Drive reflects this.
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davethered[/bold] wrote: Yet another massive building in the Town centre , that will be left to decay. Let the sally army take it on for a few years , they have all ready got the rooms prepared. That way they can provide proper rooms legally for the homeless.[/p][/quote]Leaving aside the fact there aren't actually enough homeless in Swindon to fill half the rooms, that idea would never work because it doesn't involve any criminality. Only the criminals get to do what they please in this country.[/p][/quote]I think you would be surprised at the number of homeless people in Swindon. They may not be apparent on the streets, but there are a significant number of people sofa-surfing, sharing rooms in hostels and in places such as Booth House, where their stay is limited. The number of people using the Christmas Shelter at Queens Drive reflects this. mikeinwanborough

1:02pm Fri 10 Jan 14

dukeofM4 says...

The Police are too busy chasing 'low hanging fruit' crimes while this sort of thing goes on right under their nose. How many PCs walked, or drove past in front of this hotel over the past few months on the way to the courthouse? Answer: too many. Nobody noticed any rubbish strewn, unlocked doors, lights on in the hotel at night, shadows in the windows, or curtains moving in the windows?

They're too busy worrying about swaying crime figures. Perhaps it's time they got their noses out beyond their notepads and the sharp end of a pencil!
The Police are too busy chasing 'low hanging fruit' crimes while this sort of thing goes on right under their nose. How many PCs walked, or drove past in front of this hotel over the past few months on the way to the courthouse? Answer: too many. Nobody noticed any rubbish strewn, unlocked doors, lights on in the hotel at night, shadows in the windows, or curtains moving in the windows? They're too busy worrying about swaying crime figures. Perhaps it's time they got their noses out beyond their notepads and the sharp end of a pencil! dukeofM4

1:35pm Fri 10 Jan 14

FionaMearns says...

Surely this shows the extent of the homeless problem in the town?? Rather than kicking people out into the cold and criminalising them something should be done to help. Most of the time these people do not have criminal intentions, other than hedonistic drug taking and to try and keep warm.
Surely this shows the extent of the homeless problem in the town?? Rather than kicking people out into the cold and criminalising them something should be done to help. Most of the time these people do not have criminal intentions, other than hedonistic drug taking and to try and keep warm. FionaMearns

1:52pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Davey Gravey says...

This type of thing has always happened and always will. I guess those that got in go into town to shoplift,then sell the goods and then get their fix. Somewhere out of the cold and wet to stay until they repeat the process again. Sad way to live and I've no idea of a remedy for it
This type of thing has always happened and always will. I guess those that got in go into town to shoplift,then sell the goods and then get their fix. Somewhere out of the cold and wet to stay until they repeat the process again. Sad way to live and I've no idea of a remedy for it Davey Gravey

2:43pm Fri 10 Jan 14

goodgolly says...

ChannelX wrote:
LordAshOfTheBrake wrote:
I thought squatters rights had been removed.

Quote "Both offenders were spoken to by officers"...

Surely both offenders were ARRESTED by officers?
Yes, squatting is now illegal and a criminal offence.

The criminals concerned were given a 'talking to' by police, which I'm sure scared them out of their minds.

Of course they should have been arrested and charged and, of course, they were not arrested or charged.

Haven't you realised we're forced to pay for a Criminal Justice System that doesn't actually care what criminals do?

There's a very good article this week about the latest unduly lenient and complete non-sentencing by our 'learned' judiciary. The only question is: who will stop these people?

is.gd/Qvem31
The new offence of squatting only applies to a residential building, a hotel is a commercial premises and not covered by the act.
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LordAshOfTheBrake[/bold] wrote: I thought squatters rights had been removed. Quote "Both offenders were spoken to by officers"... Surely both offenders were ARRESTED by officers?[/p][/quote]Yes, squatting is now illegal and a criminal offence. The criminals concerned were given a 'talking to' by police, which I'm sure scared them out of their minds. Of course they should have been arrested and charged and, of course, they were not arrested or charged. Haven't you realised we're forced to pay for a Criminal Justice System that doesn't actually care what criminals do? There's a very good article this week about the latest unduly lenient and complete non-sentencing by our 'learned' judiciary. The only question is: who will stop these people? is.gd/Qvem31[/p][/quote]The new offence of squatting only applies to a residential building, a hotel is a commercial premises and not covered by the act. goodgolly

4:59pm Fri 10 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

goodgolly wrote:
ChannelX wrote:
LordAshOfTheBrake wrote:
I thought squatters rights had been removed.

Quote "Both offenders were spoken to by officers"...

Surely both offenders were ARRESTED by officers?
Yes, squatting is now illegal and a criminal offence.

The criminals concerned were given a 'talking to' by police, which I'm sure scared them out of their minds.

Of course they should have been arrested and charged and, of course, they were not arrested or charged.

Haven't you realised we're forced to pay for a Criminal Justice System that doesn't actually care what criminals do?

There's a very good article this week about the latest unduly lenient and complete non-sentencing by our 'learned' judiciary. The only question is: who will stop these people?

is.gd/Qvem31
The new offence of squatting only applies to a residential building, a hotel is a commercial premises and not covered by the act.
That's interesting, thanks for that.

Clearly the law needs to, again, be updated to include commercial premises. It seems ridiculous that it doesn't.
[quote][p][bold]goodgolly[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LordAshOfTheBrake[/bold] wrote: I thought squatters rights had been removed. Quote "Both offenders were spoken to by officers"... Surely both offenders were ARRESTED by officers?[/p][/quote]Yes, squatting is now illegal and a criminal offence. The criminals concerned were given a 'talking to' by police, which I'm sure scared them out of their minds. Of course they should have been arrested and charged and, of course, they were not arrested or charged. Haven't you realised we're forced to pay for a Criminal Justice System that doesn't actually care what criminals do? There's a very good article this week about the latest unduly lenient and complete non-sentencing by our 'learned' judiciary. The only question is: who will stop these people? is.gd/Qvem31[/p][/quote]The new offence of squatting only applies to a residential building, a hotel is a commercial premises and not covered by the act.[/p][/quote]That's interesting, thanks for that. Clearly the law needs to, again, be updated to include commercial premises. It seems ridiculous that it doesn't. ChannelX

12:20am Sat 11 Jan 14

twasadawf says...

Will make a nice residents for our european cousins, had some great nights when it was The Springers pub
Will make a nice residents for our european cousins, had some great nights when it was The Springers pub twasadawf

4:06pm Mon 13 Jan 14

swindon281 says...

nice place, not unlike The Brunel Rooms on a Saturday night...
nice place, not unlike The Brunel Rooms on a Saturday night... swindon281

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