Squatters have moved into a former police station, it has been confirmed.

Yesterday, police received a report that the old Leytonstone police station, in Kirkdale Road, haad been occupied.

The station was closed on October 23 and has been boarded up and empty since.

Police confirmed the property services department of the Metropolitan Police is managing the return of the property to the freeholder.

Police are currently guarding the building and the squatters are believed to still be inside.

Since closing the station last month, the Leytonstone policing team has been based at Leyton Custody Centre, in Boreham Close, Leyton.

The Guardian spoke to residents of Kirkdale Road, who expressed concern that the squattters were able to get into the building.

Jasmin Rossi, 61, said she had seen four squatters in the station on Tuesday.

She said: "I've noticed that people congregate outside the station at about 5pm each day, I see them when I go to work at six o'clock in the morning sometimes and it is really scary when you go past.

"It concerns me because we felt quite safe when the police were there.

"Someone’s house got broken into three times before the police were there but since they came there had been no problems.

"It gets dark very early and it makes it scary to go to the shop at night, it was so nice before, we could let kids play here but now you can't really."

Baz Khan, 37, is worried about the safety of children in the area.

He said: "It is annoying, police should have secured it better as there are a lot of children on this road and their safety is important.

"I worry we are going to find needles and all sorts around the old station, hopefully I am wrong."

Omar Belhait, 53, said: "I have noticed a people in and around the station drinking late, about four or five o'clock.

"It doesn't bother me because they are quite far from me but it does give the area a bad image."