In a press statement the United Refugee Organisation said 'Angel group are a company paid to provide accommodation for asylum seekers. The Angel group is one of the main contractors with the Home Office for accommodation of asylum seekers in the UK. Since last year we have had many complaints about them. Also, Angel has recently changed their policy to make more people share rooms, making the housing more crowded. Angel don't care about repairs, they don't help with cards for gas meters, they don't help with leaking ceilings, they are not responding when people's heating breaks down. Also, they are putting families in bed-sit rooms. If anyone complains to Angel, they are warned by staff they will be moved into smaller accommodation or will be dispersed to another part of the country where they don't have any friends. When people get approval for section 4, they should be accommodated straight away but Angel take the money but don't provide the accommodation for months. Earlier this year another accommodation provider, the Refugee Care Association was closed down after (complaints and they are now being investigated for fraud. Angel inherited a lot of their for work. We want to see Angel closed down too."
Despite the peaceful nature of the protest the management were not very welcoming and did not seem to like their offices being filmed. The police soon turned up. Two police cars and then two mounted police ensured the safety of all those on the demo!!
Developments after the demo show Angel group in less than angelic light. The organiser from the United Refugee Organisation is an asylum seeker living in Angel group accommodation. Soon after the demo he received two phone calls from the housing provider criticising him for holding a demo and for speaking out against them. Angel group staff then turned up at his house while he was out and let themselves into the building to ‘check the electricity’, this despite the fact they had not visited the house for one year. Harassment?
We will be demonstrating outside their offices again very soon to let them know this is not acceptable.