Critics have called spikes to deter rough sleepers mean homeless people are treated “like pigeons”.
Metal studs have been installed outside a block of flats in central London in a bid to deter rough sleepers. The installation outside of flats on Southwark Bridge Road has provoked widespread disapproval on Twitter with many users claiming homeless people are being treated like vermin, reports the Guardian.
Residents have said that the studs were installed outside in the flats in the last month to prevent people rough sleeping in the doorway.
A woman who lives in the block told the newspaper: “There was a homeless man asleep there about six weeks ago. Then about two weeks ago all of a sudden studs were put up outside. I presume it is to deter homeless people from sleeping there.”
A couple, who also asked to remain anonymous, added: “It’s because of the homeless. The spikes have only been there very recently, less than a month.”
Katharine Sacks-Jones, head of policy and campaigns at Crisis, said: “This is happening in a context where rough sleeping has gone up massively. Over the last three years rough sleeping has risen by 36% nationally and by 75% in London. More than 6,400 people slept rough in London last year. The reason for that increase is the continuing economic downturn, the housing shortage, and cuts to benefits, particularly housing benefit.”
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