Bailiffs have cleared a squatting group out of a disused Cardiff police station in an early-morning raid.
The group, who call themselves the Antagonistic Collective Against Boredom (ACAB), had moved in to the old three-storey Canton police station on Cowbridge Road East, Canton, earlier this month.
They had declared their arrival with graffiti and banners outside including one that read: ‘Less Cops, More Squats’.
It came after the 7,600 sq ft building had been closed early last year and put on the market as part of South Wales Police’s efforts to save money.
According to the website of chartered surveyors Stephenson Alexander, who were managing the building’s sale, contracts had been exchanged to sell the building – with a quoting price of more than £400,000.
The squatters’ presence saw a possession order issued by the High Court on Wednesday and at around 8am today, enforcement officers wearing helmets went into the building.
A spokeswoman for South Wales Police said: “Officers were this morning in attendance at the former Canton Police Station, assisting High Court Enforcement Officers to prevent a breach of the peace and ensure the safety of the public.
“This follows a Possession Order which was granted by the High Court on Wednesday, August 21.
“The building has not been used as a police station for several months and is in the process of being sold.”
Squatters had first gained entry to the building via what they claimed were one of 12 different open windows.
A spokeswoman for the Antagonistic Collective Against Boredom (ACAB) said: “Bailiffs arrived and some intimidation was used to remove squatters from the building.
“This could all have been avoided had they made any effort to secure the building in the first place.
“The police have cost the tax-payer quite a lot of money on evicting squatters from a building they made no effort to remove squatters from without bailiffs.”
The ACAB spokeswoman claimed a supporter of the group had been arrested before being later being released without charge.
Squatting has been illegal in residential buildings in Wales and England since September last year and the maximum penalty is now six months in jail, a £5,000 fine, or both.
Police said there were no arrests.