‘It has been so awful, our lives have been destroyed’, were the heartbreaking words of a Havering resident and her son who were caught up in ‘Operation Scotney’, a police raid that took place earlier this year and have still not been rehoused.
Mother and son Edyta and Radolsaw Dziega, originally from Poland have been living in Havering for 12 years and have always worked and contributed to the local community.
However, it was back in February this year that their lives started to fall apart. Edyta told the Havering Daily, ‘We were asleep when we were woken up to the sound of people in the yard, we could hear footsteps and then we heard banging noises and saw flashing lights everywhere.’
Edyta and her son Radoslaw, had been renting a mobile home in Harold Hill, when the police raid took place. She recalled ‘Our front door was smashed, I shouted to my son ‘get on the floor’ and we both lay there terrified.
‘The police then began searching our home, throwing things on the floor, breaking glass, it was awful. My son had his glasses broken, I laid on the floor in my bra and underwear and asked the police if I could please close the curtains so I had some dignity.
‘I am bi polar, so situations like this create a lot of stress and upsetting in me and as a result I started to shake violently out of fear and stress. It was one of the worst moments of my life, we watched our home being torn apart and did not know what we had done wrong.’
Operation Scotney provided the police with numerous arrests, however many innocent residents were caught up in the raid and now Edyta and her son are still to be re-homed and spend their nights sleeping in their car as their hostel does not allow dogs on the premises.
Councillor Jan Sargent, who has been working with Edyta and Radoslaw to help them find a new home, told the Havering Daily ‘Prior to Operation Scotney, which was a very large police operation that took place earlier this year, both Edyta and her son were in full time employment, settled and law abiding members of society.
‘Now through absolutely no fault of their own, they have found themselves destitute with no home and no job.
‘The system that Edyta and her son have contributed to for over 12 years has turned its back on them.’
Both mother and son have been living in Abercrombie House in Harold Hill, in one room since February. The accommodation does not allow pets, so the pair take it in turns to sleep in their car with their little dog Rudi.
Edyta has since lost her job, the events caused her severe stress and anxiety and now she can not hold a job down. She has also been denied universal credit and does not know how, if ,or when she she will find a new home for herself, her son and her little dog Rudi.
Councillor Sargent added ‘We must remember that this problem was caused by our system, therefore I feel like we have a duty of care to help Edyta and her son restore their life back to some kind of normality that they deserve.
The pair receive no financial support, and son Radoslaw has still not had his passport returned by the police since they took it in February.