Remove the anti-homeless spikes outside your Holborn store
Anti-homeless spikes have been spotted outside one of Foxton's branches in Holborn, London. These spikes have been increasingly used to deter homeless people from sleeping outside stores all over London.
Sadly, this is yet another move in a long line of "defensive architecture" aimed at deterring homeless people from sleeping in highly visible places. At a time when more than 8 million of us are reported (one in three workers) to be 1 payday away from not being able to pay for our mortgages or rent and homelessness is rising rapidly, we cannot simply push the homeless out of sight. If they are forced away from public spaces, they may end up having to sleep in more isolated and dangerous areas - a horrific prospect, considering that homeless people already face extremely high levels of violence as it is. Let's not make their lives any harder.
If we as a society are so uncomfortable at the sight of homeless people outside our stores, business and in public places, let's work towards getting them the help and housing they need instead of sweeping them away to the dark corners of our city.
The good news is that time and time again, we have fought and won the fight against similar measures - last year, Tesco agreed to remove anti-homeless spikes outside a central London store after days of protest. Similarly, a petition signed by over 130,000 people was successful in getting anti-homeless spikes removed from outside a building owned by Property Partners on Southwark Bridge Road. And last week, my petition calling on a London council to stop criminalising rough sleepers was successful after 80,000 people signed.
We've beat these inhumane measures before. Let's beat them again and make sure homeless people are treated like human beings rather than an eyesore.