UK & World News

  • 8 June 2014, 22:36

Metal Studs Treat The Homeless 'Like Animals'

Metal studs installed to stop homeless people from sleeping outside private flats in London have been described as "brutal" by a homelessness charity.

Residents at the block on Southwark Bridge Road said they appeared a few weeks ago after someone had been sleeping rough there.

In reaction, Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of St Mungo's Broadway, said: "Each year our teams, in Southwark and elsewhere, help thousands of people off the streets.

"Part of their role is to prevent people adopting a street lifestyle which, on occasions, means adapting the physical environment to prevent people sleeping rough in a particular location on a regular basis. These 'studs' appear a rather brutal way of doing just that."

Its not clear who ordered them and if they are solely to deter rough sleepers but their installation has sparked an angry reaction.

Emi Takehara lives in the block and told Sky News: "I feel really uncomfortable having these spikes in front of my home. It's like treating these homeless people like animals."

Andrew Horton spotted the studs on his way to work and posted pictures of them online.

It is split opinion on Twitter.

David Wells wrote: "These Anti homeless studs are like the spikes they use to keep pigeons off buildings. The destitute now considered vermin."

Others, including Gavin Logan defended the installation, tweeting: "There will be a context behind those anti-homeless spikes. Possibly a last resort against someone who was aggressive and refused housing."

Homelessness charities say this is not a one-off, metal studs have been appearing across the country for the last decade as the number of people sleeping rough rises.

The management company has not been available for comment but Councillor Peter John, leader of Southwark Council, issued a statement confirming the council is not responsible.

He added: "The council can look into health and safety or planning concerns that are reported to us.

"With regards to people sleeping rough, the council has a dedicated officer who works closely with organisations like St Mungo's [a homelessness charity], who have a 'no second night out' policy to ensure rough sleepers are found shelter and support."

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