It’s a good thing society has police officers. Who else, besides individuals so righteous that the state sees fit to issue them an official badge and costume, could courageously storm several mansions that have been squatted by 75 individuals for 13 (or 32, the article is inconsistent with the time span, hence I chose the shorter one) years:
For 13 years, squatters occupied six Victorian mansion blocks in a prime London location rent-free, letting them go to wrack and ruin.
But yesterday a two-year battle to evict them came to a head in an early morning raid that saw violent clashes with bailiffs and police.
Even the private property loving libertarian in me is left wondering what sense it makes to evict individuals who have been occupying a space for more than a decade. Did the owners not care? Were the properties unowned? Why did the police suddenly decided it was a jolly good idea to put on their ridiculous looking costumes, kick in the doors, and evict individuals who have been living in those properties for ages?
I think it’s valid to consider a property unowned, and therefore available to whoever first makes use of it, when the supposed owner cares so little about the property that they’re unwilling to invest the absolutely minor resources required to have somebody check up on the place once a year and file a police report* if somebody has broken in.
* I’m not claiming that calling the police is the right thing to do because I view the police as a legitimate entity. Unfortunately, in our society, most insurance companies require a police report to be filed before various damages will be covered. Because of that filing a police report, if you want to make use of your insurance policy, is often necessary.