07/11/2011 Inside Out South


Should squatting be made illegal? The programme meets squatters and those who have been affected by them. There is also a look at the Dorset charity helping abused brown bears.

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Hello and welcome to Inside Out, back with three more stories from


where you live. Hello. The misery caused by Berkshire squatters.


home left like this and they're not even criminals. They've changed the


locks and they're in my mother's house. The Dorset animal charity


picking up the pieces of a cruel past in Serbia. Championing the


plight of dancing bears, raising awareness about the desperate


sadness and how they're treated and abused. And digging for history on


the South's highest cliff. Bronze Age discoveries in a golden


location. It's like when snow falls and you're the first one to walk


over that nice, fresh fallen snow. It's a similar sort of feeling.


Jon Cuthill and this is Inside Out First tonight, what would you do if


squatters moved into your property? Call the cops? It might surprise


you to learn that squatting isn't a criminal offence. But that could


soon be about to change. Sadly, too late for one Berkshire woman who's


had problems getting squatters out of her property. Here's Jane


This house in Berkshire belongs to join Joy McCabe, her brother and


her sister. It was left to them when their mother died. My mum was


there for 50 years. We grew up there. All our memories are there.


And now, we can't even go into it. While the family was deciding what


to do with their mum's old home, four unwanted squatters moved in.


We can't get into our own property now. They've changed the locks.


The police were called but the family was told it was a civil


matter and they couldn't through the squatters out. How surprised


are you that this isn't a criminal offence? I didn't believe it wasn't


a criminal offence. How can you move into a property that was my


mum's house, which I will always think of as my mum's house? Was she


a house proud person? She was indeed. She loved that house. She


yes. Time to pay a visit to the four Lithuanian squatters. They


claim they pay rent, not to Joy, but to someone on the internet.


They even claim they've got a contract and that they're the


victims of a scam. Are you going to move out? When are you going to


move out? As soon as our contract finishes, we will go. Can you show


me the contract? No. No. Is there I'm barely sleeping because I keep


thinking, what if we can't get them out? So now we've got to go to


court and hopefully we're going to get an order to get them out and


then we'll have to get bailiffs to In Brighton, the squatting capital


of the South, there's always someone on the lookout for an


unused building. This Regency property near the Royal Pavilion


was snapped up by squatters just We just noticed this place was not


being used. We looked inside. It looked as if it hadn't been used


for quite a long time. So we acquired entry into the building.


How did you get in? There was an The local MP sees this lot as


criminals and wants the law changed so they can be put behind bars.


It's a lifestyle choice for some people and we call them serial


squatters and they do cause damage and there's no retribution for the


damage they cause. As soon you leave one property, you can move


into another without any cost to you whatsoever. If we actually made


it a criminal act, where people have to pay for the damages or get


locked up in jail, then they will stop and eventually people will get


the message that it is illegal. wants us slung out because he's


like, more on the side of rich landlords than poorer people in


general. Because we've a time of economic crisis, property values


are remaining the same, even though people's ability to play those


prices is going down. -- paydays prices. This privately owned house


had stood empty for five years. It's now home to a varied community,


some jobless, some homeless and some students. So this is my room -


arts studio. It's really good having a lot of space where we can


work. Standard accommodation wouldn't really have enough room. I


wouldn't be able to afford enough room. Would people sympathise with


that? Wouldn't they say, "Tough?" Maybe. There's always a nice


community and you're not going to be on the streets. It's just a


welcoming place to come to. It's not a scary homeless centre where


sometimes people can just be a not more intimidating, I find.


squatters believe if a property is neglected and empty, the


responsible thing is to take it over. If you owned a property in


later life and someone squatted in it, how would you feel? I would


never own a property that I was not living in or was not directly using.


There's no way that's going to Meanwhile, Joy and her brother


Roger are at court for a hearing that will hopefully lead to the


squatters being thrown out of their We've had to come to court today to


get a possession order to get our property back. We've turned up here


nine o'clock today, they haven't turned up here and we've had to sit


in front of a judge which we've never had to do before to get our


property back. I just can't believe it. It's awful. Isn't it staggering


the police couldn't just say, out? Absolutely. They should have. I was


told by people that they are breaking the law by breaking in,


but the police didn't bother to investigate that. They said it was


a civil matter and it was down to us to sort it out, not them. I want


to get to the stage where if you were having this interview now, if


we go back to our property now and there's someone in our property


squatting, I want that person criminalised and put in jail. It is


not acceptable people come back from holidays, or families in


bereavement have squatters in their homes. That we've got to stop.


Hopefully next year we'll have a law that stops that. But the


Brighton squatters feel that rather than being attacked by the


government, they should be embraced as they are providing for


themselves without handouts. If you look at David Cameron's Big Society


idea, he wants people to take initiative, to take control of


their lives. Everybody's got to learn sometime. This is a very


important, like the reason why some people find squatting a very good


thing to do, is because they're not dependent on the state. They're not


going to claim housing benefit. We're saving the state money. They


don't have to go through the state to live. I think that's very


important aspect of the squatting. Meanwhile, back in Berkshire,


Nine weeks after the squatters took over her mother's home, bailiffs


allow her to return. But the unwelcome houseguests have fled.


Hello. Oh There are dirty towels, there's food left half eaten, and


there's food left half cooked. There's blood, it looks like on the


floor. There's wet washing, dirty washing, empty bottles, I can't


believe it. It cost Joy about �2000 in court fees to reclaim what's


hers. They're criminals and they've just lived here thinking, we can


live here for nothing, we can do what we like, create as much mess


as we want. Foul the place. They might as well be on the street if


they're living like that in a house. Joy hopes that in the future, the


government's plans to tighten the law on squatting will help prevent


similar invasions. But the squatters in Brighton are


determined to carry on, come what There are plans afoot to


criminalise squatting. What would that mean to you? It would make it


more difficult to carry on squatting. But I don't think it


would change anything. You'd be a criminal now. Yes. It's whether you


There isn't squatters' rights. Really, there's no law that says


squatters have got rights. There's just no law to get them out


Next, big pause, Bears. You probably think there's no


connection between Dorset and Serbia's dancing bears. Think again,


my friends because a tiny charity based in a tiny village is


providing vital veterinary care to abused animals. I'm going to be


honest, some of this film is pretty tough viewing but I think it's


important we show you what's been Meet Borjana, a former dancing bear


who now lives in a refuge in Serbia. This was her life before. For 10


years, an old car was her home, where she was chained up. She, like


this one, was a dancing bear forced to perform to make her owners money.


Keeping bears this way is illegal in Serbia and it's hoped this cruel


practice has now ended. Most animals have been confiscated from


their owners and sent to a dedicated sanctuary but the big


problem is how to provide for the The pretty village of Cranborne in


Dorset is the rather unlikely location for the tiny HQ of the


Worldwide Veterinary Service. In the front, the charity sells


second-hand books to pay the rent on the building and in the back,


they pack medicines and equipment that are sent abroad, along with


veterinary teams to provide free care. The charity's founder is a


Everyone that volunteers on the teams does so on their free time.


We don't really have, we've got tiny staff costs, we're very


efficient and we go absolutely anywhere that needs help. We go all


over the world and that's the brilliant thing about the charity.


Because we are very small, we're very flexible. Nearly everything we


get goes straight out. Serbia is a fantastic little charity there and


championing the plight of dancing bears, raising awareness about the


kind of conditions and desperate sadness and how they are treated


and abused is a really worthwhile thing to do. Just driving forward


that campaign and supporting the people on the front line of that is


This is where the latest WVS team is heading - a village in central


Serbia. And here is the only sanctuary for the country's brown


bears - the back garden of a Our bears actually do not have,


here in Serbia, some experts who would treat them. We did not know


who to ask for the help. We remembered the World Wide


Veterinary Service, we called them and they responded to our calls.


team of three WVS volunteers has arrived with an ambitious schedule.


They want to check the condition of all five bears, and operate on


those that need it. What is happening? But the team is only


here for five days, so they need to get to work straight away. First is


Borjana. There we go. Heather has worked with bears in China and this


is her second visit to the century. Last time she operated on another


bear, Cassandra. It is really nice to be back and they all look in


really good condition. We removed around 20 teeth, or teeth fragments


from Cassandra the last time. She had been badly beaten around the


face and her right eye is blind due to traumatic damage and her teeth


were the worst I have ever seen on a bear. They were horrendous.


Removing those fragments, you can see her lips are all shredded. That


is where she has been tethered for dancing, and the tethering chains


have ripped through her top lips. Borjana is the oldest of the five


bears is under anaesthetic and Heather can examine her teeth.


the dancing bears, they often had their teeth smashed out to make


them safer for their owners to handle. You can see here that her


canine tooth on the lower side, there is pretty much nothing left


of it. You can tell this was smashed out when she was a young


bear. When she was taken as a cub from the wild. The enamel is really


thin. If the tooth is broken when she is older, the top tooth looks


like it was broken when she was older, the enamel is much thicker.


You can imagine how painful this is because those nerves are constantly


exposed, constantly raw and infection will trek up to the root


of the teeth. You can see on the inside of her lip, these channels


here, these would not normally exist. Bears do not have a


connection between a top lip and their nose, but this is where she


has had a hook for a chain put through her nose and her lip and


For the bears in the sanctuary, this brutal treatment is now a


They will spend the rest of their lives being looked after by Pavel


and his wife. The charity struggles to pay for their care with just a


little government help. They know the conditions are not ideal, but


there is nowhere else. This is Ushkin. And she is a nice specimen


of a typical brown bear. Unfortunately, she has a very bad


temper towards people because her owner was a really, really mean. We


knew that because we met him, he tortured her, beat her, so she


remembers that very well. She does not trust people at all. Borjana's


teeth are in a bad way. She has had nine removed, all of them were


broken. It is disgusting. They will be sore for a few days, but once


the pain relief we have given them will kick in there should not be a


problem. Their gums should heal up fairly quickly and they will be


able to carry on eating without it being painful. Can you just pull


The next there is our only male bear Elvis. He is actually a zoo


bear. Elvis lost one of his legs when his father, who was also in


the zoo, bit him as a cub. He ended up here after a disastrous decision


by the zoo to release him into the wild. He approached up to a


children's camp asking for food, but that was not safe and several


times a director of the National Park decided to shoot the bear.


Some people asked by e-mail if we could save him. As Borjana comes


out of the anaesthetic after her operation, Elvis is obviously


concerned. He is usually not so willing to come immediately from


this cage to his cage. Usually we have to bribe him with bread or


something that he likes so that he can come inside. Obviously, he is


worried for Borjana. He wants to touch her. The next day it is


Elvis' turn to be operated on. He is under anaesthetic for several


hours as Heather removes some damaged teeth and castrates him so


Sadly, Elvis does not recover from his operation, and that night he


The post-mortem examination would later reveal his liver and kidneys


were diseased and the anaesthesia had put them under extra stress.


Something the team could not have known when they were operating. It


is a terrible blow for everyone, and for now it is decided not to do


any more operations. But the team will be back, hopefully when the


bears have a new home where they can behave more naturally. Pavel's


dream is to find a larger and better sanctuary so the former


dancing bears of Serbia can live Poor old Elvis, but I am glad to


say the other four bears are doing well. If you have got a story for


me, then drop me an e-mail. Finally, what is this? News just in. We are


getting reports of a hole on top of one of the South's most spectacular


viewpoints. Archaeologists are On a sunny afternoon in Dorset


there is no finer place to be them on the highest point of the south


coast, Golden Cap. What you might not expect to find is a massive


hole, full of archaeologists. reason we're digging here on the


cliff-edge is because we are on the cliff-edge, the erosion along this


coast is happening so often and so much that we are going to lose it


all into the sea. We are trying to rescue the information about these


Bronze Age burial mounds before they end up down in the sea and


washed away forever and we will not know anything about them at all.


is thought the three mounds could disappear within 50 years and the


archaeologists have just three weeks to excavate them before they


cover them up again and leave them to their fate. We looked at these


mounds and thought, it won't take long because they are shallow humps


in the ground. Now we have gone down, you can see there's tons of


material here. Heaps of stones, quite a presence standing within


them at the moment. You feel you are a part of it. The mounds are


the same age as Stonehenge. 4,000 years old. We spent three weeks


clearing the stonework that they put on top here when they buried


someone, they piled all the stone on top. We spent three weeks


digging through it and this is what we found and we are really pleased


and excited. It is a very special find. When the arrow head came out,


the feeling of it, just holding that object that someone spent all


that time and effort making out of stone, if it is quite emotional.


4,000 years ago. Maybe it is because we have spent nearly three


weeks constantly digging out parts of stone and are tired and


emotional, but I think the objects that people use connect to people


of the past. Just being inside the mound, because we have cleared half


of it away and we can stand in the middle of it, on Bronze Age land


surface, when you think about that, I don't know, you get a feeling


from it. Maybe it is just archaeologists that feel that.


There is something special. And nobody has stood there since they


built it 4,000 years ago. It is like when snow falls and you're the


first one to walk over that fresh fallen snow. It is a similar sort


of feeling. It takes you back into the past directly. Standing in the


same place. Not surprisingly, few man-made objects have survived the


passing of thousands of years. Especially as here the soil is


acidic which destroys even the bones. There is some organic


material for the scientists to take away. What we have got here is a


big lump of rubble which is the burial mound. Underneath we have a


thin layer of dark brown soil which is the land surface, before the


barrier was built. From that we can extract pollen from small samples


that I'm taking now and that will give us an indication of the


vegetation that was around at the time. It gives a snapshot of the


environment of the early Bronze Age. It is valuable stuff. The team now


realises that the Bronze Age people were not the only ones who saw this


high vantage point as a good place to build some structures. They have


cut a steep trench into the mound and put a sand floor down. In here


we have got chunks of brick and bits of mortar to do with a


structure which is being built. find that later on, only 200 years


ago, that someone else came up to this site, saw these bumps and


thought, this is a good place to put some buildings. To create a


signal station where they would put flagpoles of different coloured


flags and balls to signal that the French were coming. It is from the


Napoleonic times. There were signal stations all along the coast which


would signal to one another with all these different combinations of


flags and banners. This place often gets very foggy. They were also


told to have a big fire, a big beacon beside their hut. It is the


same sort of thing you get during the Second World War. There was a


real danger of being invaded. A bit like the home guard, I suppose,


they got a few retired people out and set up this chain along the


coast. Records have been found which shed light on the lives of


these Napoleonic watchmen and their modest dwellings. Inside there were


two rooms, two tables and three chairs. The officers and two able


seaman beside them. Pretty chilly time, I would imagine. 1798 through


to 1814, they watched the coast. I doubt it was always the same people,


but certainly that is what the records tell us about looking


through the spy glass out to sea. Artifacts have been found from


those times, bits of pottery and animal bones and coins. Bronze Age


finds have been scarce. Bonze Age we are dealing with pre-history.


There is nothing written down at all. Sometimes you do not really


get just what a great gulf there is. You can go back 2,000 years and you


have one name, and that is a name written down by a Greek geographer


about this area. It is a name given to the people in this area. That is


the age of history. The beginning of all history, there were no names


before that. There were no names of any of these important people the


mounds were raised to. We do not know how they governed the people,


it is hard work as a detective story. If there is very little to


go on. But what is known is that the burial mounds were built high


so everyone could see them and the settlements where people lived


would have been lowered down in more sheltered spots. Exactly where,


we do not know. People we found at Dog House Hill which is just behind


us on the cliff, they might be the people who buried their dead up


here. Or it might be out there which has gone. In the Bronze Age,


the cliff-edge was about one-two miles further out than it is now.


So the people who these burials were put here for have gone a long


time ago. The barrows on a Golden Cap will soon disappear like the


people who built them. This is the last chance for the archaeologists.


But despite the intricate detective work, it is the last day of the dig


and they still have not found what they're looking for. What would


have been really lovely, and what you dream of, is to dig away and


find this nice pick underneath and a body laid out, a crouched body in


the bottom with a lovely whole pot at the side and a gorgeous flint


knife. That would have been perfect. Not finding all the things you


dream about finding... It is doing it, digging through the ground,


digging through the layers, peeling it all back and finding all of


these tiny bits and pieces that had been left behind. It does not


matter you have not found what you might dream about. That is the


whole process that we go through, doing an excavation, getting the


stuff ready, getting your tools together, getting the people


together, making sure you have got biscuits for tea breaks. It is the


whole thing that makes it what it is. It makes me want to keep doing


it. On that one you can even see the tree rings. What we can do is


look at what we're finding and make up the stories from those things


that survive in the ground. These days they can get within 50 to 100


years either side. I suppose, if you think back into time, they were


just like you and me. They needed food, they needed shelter, they


lived, they loved, and if they had not been successful in all of that,


Well, that is just about it for now. Keep your e-mails coming in and let


me know what is happening where you live. Meet the millionaire landlord


with over 300 properties to let. Not everybody in Oxford likes me


very much. I don't care what people think. And that tenants who are


Should squatting be made illegal? The programme meets squatters and those who have been affected by them. There is also a look at the Dorset charity helping abused brown bears, and archaeologists racing to uncover Bronze Age burial mounds before they are lost to the sea.

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