Should We be Fortifying Buildings Against the Homeless?

By Gary Cutlack on at

A mass outcry kicked up over the weekend, as it gradually dawned on people that metallic studs appearing in the floors outside some London housing sites have been strategically placed in sheltered corners that homeless people may try to sleep. To keep them away. Does this show mankind is now beyond saving?

The spikes have appeared outside buildings in Southwark over the last few weeks. The council says it hasn't ordered them, so the decision to install the spikes was presumably taken by the management company that operates and manages the buildings.

Outraged commenters suggest this rough tactic means we're treating the homeless like vermin, something to be forced away from the perimeters of our cosy homes. It's one step away from lacing sandwiches and cups of tea with poison then handing them out at feed stations to end the problem once and for all, isn't it?

Even Boris Johnson, a man not thought of as being overly sympathetic about the problems faced by the proles, waded in on the subject today, saying: "Spikes outside Southwark housing development to deter rough sleeping are ugly, self defeating & stupid. Developer should remove them ASAP."

Even playing devil's advocate it's hard to think of any justification for the North Korea-like move against the unfortunate. Maybe it's a good thing... because... they might... go somewhere nicer? [Sky]