Critics Disgusted At 'Anti-Homeless' Spikes In London Alcove

The small metal spikes appeared weeks after a homeless man slept in the alcove, causing many to call the 'anti-homeless' spikes cruel.

Critics Disgusted At 'Anti-Homeless' Spikes In London Alcove
The Guardian / Jamie Lorriman

A luxury apartment complex in London is the target of community outrage after it installed spikes in the front alcove that critics say are a cruel attempt to keep homeless people from sleeping there.

A Twitter user posted pictures of the so-called "anti-homeless" spikes over the weekend. The spikes are one inch tall and aren't sharp but would make it nearly impossible for anyone to sleep there. (Via Twitter / @ethicalpioneer)

The Telegraph reports residents of the building say a homeless man was seen sleeping in the alcove a few weeks before the spikes were installed, though there's been no comment from the building manager on exactly why they're there. (Via The Telegraph)

"I feel really uncomfortable having these spikes in front of my home. It's really treating these homeless people like animals, nothing less." (Via Sky News)

The spikes were strongly condemned on social media, and there's already a petition to have them removed.

Katherine Sacks-Jones, the head of homeless charity Crisis, told The Independent homelessness has increased by 75 percent in Britain over the last three years. "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." (Via The Independent)

But it turns out this kind of "anti-homeless" technology is popping up more and more.

In 2012, sharp concrete spikes were erected under a bridge in China that was a popular sleeping spot for homeless people. (Via Daily Mail)

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports dividers were added to benches at dozens of bus stops in St. Louis, in part to keep the homeless from sleeping on them. (Via St. Louis Post Dispatch)

And city administrators in Sarasota, Florida, even went as far as to remove all the benches at one park when they received complaints they were being used as beds, a move one homeless man said kind of reminds you of Nazi Germany." (Via WFTS)

Back in London, city administrators are being urged to have the studs removed, but a spokeswoman said there's nothing officials can do unless the spikes violate building regulations.