Photos of metal spikes installed outside a posh apartment building in on Southwark Bridge Road, London, designed to keep homeless people from taking shelter there, have caused massive outrage after they went viral on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
The spikes are believed to have been installed last month by the building developer, and have been compared to the metal spikes used to keep birds from landing on certain buildings. They were placed in a sheltered alcove right next to the door, where homeless people were sometimes taking refuge from the rain. The building in question is located opposite a hostel for homeless people with mental problems.
A resident of the apartment building, who chose to remain anonymous, 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.”
Although there were some who tried to justify the developer’s actions, claiming that if it’s done on private property, people have a right to use deterrents, the majority of people who saw the photos, were outraged. Over 110,000 people have already signed a petition to have the spikes removed, and even London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, called the spikes “ugly, self-defeating and stupid”.
Even more shocking is that this inhumane way of handling London’s homeless has been around for more than a decade. After the above story went viral in online media, people have begun reporting similar spikes on wide windowsills and ledges that have been there for years to keep the homeless from sleeping on them.