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Anti-homeless spikes installed in posh London neighborhood spark outrage

Published time: June 08, 2014 03:06
Edited time: June 27, 2014 07:54
Photo by RT's Sara Firth

Photo by RT's Sara Firth

After photos of metal spikes designed to prevent homeless people from sleeping in posh London neighborhoods surfaced online, people have been venting their outrage with controversial invention all over the social media.

Homelessness rife in UK: Research shows millions are paycheck away from losing home

Photographs of metal studs on the doorsteps of a luxury flat building on Southwark Bridge Road in central London spurred an “anti-homeless spikes” hashtag campaign by Ethical Pioneer Twitter page.

An anonymous resident of the residential complex told the Telegraph, that “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.”

However, London resident Nathan FitzPatrick tweeted after talking to locals outside the building that only one person could confirm homeless were sleeping there – and that was a woman and a child.

Crisis, the UK's national charity for homeless people, immediately issued a statement of condemnation.

“It is a scandal that anyone should sleep on the streets in 21st century Britain. Yet over the last three years rough sleeping has risen steeply across the country and by a massive 75% in London. Behind these numbers are real people struggling with a lack of housing, cuts to benefits and cuts to homelessness services to help them rebuild their lives,” said Katharine Sacks-Jones, head of policy and campaigns at Crisis.

“They deserve better than to be moved on to the next doorway along the street. We will never tackle rough sleeping with studs in the pavement. Instead we must deal with the causes,” Sacks-Jones added.

Local Londoners went to investigate and confirm the installation of spikes on Southwark Bridge Road. What is ironic is that part of the building where metal needles were installed is the office of the British School of Osteopathy – an alternative medicine school focused on healing through moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints.

Many upset people compared the metal studs to spikes used to stop pigeons landing on buildings.

In response to the Twitter campaign, Shelter, a non-profit organization, is advising people to contact them if they have no place to sleep.

Some social media users however were justifying the actions, saying that owners of private property have a right to do what they please on their own holdings.

Comments (225)


mergon 22.07.2014 14:57

For sale wonder spike mat ,it works in reverse you just put the spikes facing downwards facing the spikes that are facing up and walah you can sleep in any doorway !

£50 per mat apply to the house of commons [back door ]


Matija Kostevc 11.06.2014 08:01

Delete This Comment 09.06.2014 08:42


Mental issues or not, some people refuse the constricting relationship with society that is called a 'job'. Some even refuse to reside in a permanent location. They just prefer to drift.

Given the fact that people in our society have the privilege of ploughing over other people, or pretty much anything, in their purpose of accumulating billions of $, I see no reason why people who refuse to work or prefer to living in the streets, should be denied any privileges of doing so without being molested by the society or other individuals.


drabman 10.06.2014 16:41

OK Daniel, like some of the other rabid right-wingers on here I see you have resorted to the intellectually vacuous position that no-one should object to a proposed solution to a problem or criticize a perceived social injustice, unless they have personally intervened to address said problem or tried to rectify said social injustice in some significant way. Given that you advocate the execution of recalctrant street sleepers, I take it that you are therefore volunteering to personally adminster the coup-de-grace?

Remind me again - what was that you were saying about "keyboard warriors"?

View all comments (225)
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