TfL Advice Booklet Mocks Buskers and Calls Homeless People 'Dirty and Smelly'

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

London transport bigwigs are currently charging around their offices, flapping around a booklet called Safer Steps and repeating the words “Who approved this?”

The guidance document for Underground staff, which was published last year, describes homeless people as “dirty and smelly” and buskers as a “nuisance” and “not particularly musical”, reports The Times. An investigation into how the hell the thing got published has now been launched.

“From time to time vagrants gain access to the London Underground system," reads the section on homeless people. "They are often dirty and smelly but, in reality, they are usually fairly amenable to being moved on, although there's always the exception. Additionally, some are affected by alcohol and this, in turn, can make them aggressive."

It goes on to say that staff should alert the police when they stumble across them. There's no mention of contacting the organisations that actually exist to help the homeless.

London Underground’s chief operating officer Steve Griffiths was the guy told to come out and apologise for the offence caused. “I apologise wholeheartedly for the language used in this document, which is completely unacceptable and wholly unreflective of our views or approach to this issue,” he told the Standard.

“We’ve immediately withdrawn it from circulation and are carrying out an urgent review into how the document came to be produced.” [Times via Standard]

Image: Dreefire via Flickr