You Won’t Believe What This City Is Doing To Punish Homeless People


By MBD, Political Blind Spot

Sharp metal spikes have now been installed outside a block of London luxury flats in a sadistic attempt to deter homeless people from sleeping there.

The installation of the studs in an affluent area of the town has raised criticism from many after a picture was uploaded to Twitter and quickly began making the social media rounds.

The use of the studs essentially means that homeless people are being treated the same way as pigeons. Similar metal spikes are used to deter birds which are viewed as nuisances. The spikes are thus a clear attempt to dehumanize the homeless.

Andrew Horton, 33, of Woking, Surrey, took some of the first pictures of the inch long studs outside the flats on Southwark Bridge Road. As he walked to work on Wednesday, he saw them and couldn’t believe his eyes.

“I can’t say for certain but it certainly looked like they were placed there to deter homeless people. It’s dreadful.”

David Wells commented on Horton’s post of the pictures on Twitter: “These Anti homeless studs are like the spikes they use to keep pigeons off buildings. The destitute now considered vermin [sic].

People living in the nearby flats, spend upwards of £800,000, for their residences. Some of them say the metal studs were installed two weeks ago after a few homeless people were complained about for sleeping there.

A man looking around the flats, a ten-minute walk from Southwark Underground Station, who only gave his name as Peter, a lawyer, asked: “Would you want homeless people outside your door?”

Homelessness charities in the area have chimed in, saying that the use of these metal studs to prevent homeless people from sleeping in certain areas is quite widespread. According to such organizations, they have been installed on ledges and in doorways for more than a decade in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

Kathrine Stokes, 39, of Hull, East Yorkshire, also photographed studs outside Tesco in Regent Street, London and posted the pictures on Twitter.

“It’s sad. It demonstrates a meanness and a lack of humanity for people,” she commented.

Katharine Sacks-Jones, the head of policy and campaigns at homelessness charity Crisis, added that, “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 per cent 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.

“They might have suffered a relationship breakdown, a bereavement or domestic abuse. 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.”

But responding to the outrage, Tesco said the spikes outside its store in Regent Street are not intended to target those in need of shelter.

A spokesman for the company said: “The studs were put in place to try and stop people engaging in anti-social behaviour like smoking or drinking outside our store, which can be intimidating for our customers.”

But this hardly seems to be the case, as the spikes have been placed throughout areas where sleeping homeless individuals have been a regular site, and a nuisance for the wealthy who wish they would just go away.

Reprinted with permission from Political Blind Spot.