Sidcup locals have blasted fellow residents over a “vile” and “hateful” protest which led to the eviction of over 20 asylum seekers.

The Home Office moved three refugees into a property in Penhill Road last Thursday, which was not approved by Bexley Council.

Without giving any notice to the council or residents, more followed over the weekend and it resulted in a demonstration being held outside their home on Sunday.

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Pro-refugee residents in Penhill Road

But, other neighbours claim inappropriate comments were made during the hour-long protest.

Nicky Lennon, 38, of Eynsford Crescent, Bexley, said: “I heard that many of the people involved are claiming this as a victory.

“I wonder how many of those who turned up to protest had been involved in spreading the message of hate that I saw being shared freely and without shame across social media the previous day?”

She added: “I was there in support of the refugees and we were confronted with comments from the protesters describing these refugees as would-be rapists and terrorists.

“The crowd were shouting ‘save our children’ and ‘save our streets’ - some of their comments in the run up to the protest and on the day were vile and full of hate and ignorance.”

Met Police have since confirmed that they are investigating “concerning” comments made on social media regarding the asylum seekers.

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The house where the refugees were staying

Another resident, Anashua Davies, 41, of Carlton Road, Sidcup, expressed her shock at the “intimidating” nature of the protest.

“The house is just around the corner from my 80-year-old mother who was a refugee in the 1940s,” she told News Shopper.

“My mum would be horrified to know this kind of disgusting behaviour exists in modern Britain.

“If you have a problem with the asylum seekers, contact the council or Border Force, don’t stand outside someone’s home with placards asking people, who you don’t know, to leave.

“Why is there an automatic assumption that you are suddenly not safe? People were being vile and very intimidating.”

When contacted by News Shopper, Bexley Council confirmed the asylum seekers had been removed from the property.

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Protesting residents with their placards

Officials have also demanded a further meeting with the Home Office to ensure a situation like this does not happen again.

Speaking before the demonstration, Stacey Simpson, 35, of Penhill Road, said she was worried for the safety of her five children.

She added: “It’s awful because I’m worried for my kids, I have a baby of 18 months. I won’t be leaving them to play in our garden anymore. Nothing like this has ever happened here.

“I’m sleeping at a friend’s house because I’m not staying near a group of men who I don’t know.”

Bexley Council leader Councillor Teresa O’Neill said: “We fully understand the concerns of residents in Penhill Road. Our council enforcement officers acted quickly and were able to stop this property from being used in such an unlawful manner.

“We thank Penhill Road residents for highlighting this issue to us. However, we must take care when something like this arises not to inflame the situation with rumour and hearsay.

“Bexley has a proud tradition of community cohesion and partnership. We are a diverse and tolerant borough and I would hope we would all think twice before engaging in rumours that can quickly turn into something more serious.”