Treating Humans like Feathered Vermin!


Thats not how I see it. Please read on and let me know your thoughts.

A number of weeks ago a private building put some blunt ended spikes in the door way to their premises. The purpose was to stop street homeless\rough sleepers from sleeping in their doorway.

We don’t really know the full history of events leading up to these spikes being installed, it could be that a one off or several incidents occurred; it may be that the residents or landlord just didn’t want a vagrant sleeping there and making the place look untidy.

The building in this news paper article is not the only place that has them, but for some reason had been singled out.

St Martins Place near Trafalgar Square has them outside an office block. Presumably to stop people sitting there and leaving rubbish behind.

I say this because they’re on a wall that is about three feet high and an area exposed to the elements. It is also next door to a very very popular sandwich shop that has limited outside seating.

I guess the sitting and loitering excuse would be the same as the “Play to Win” shop in London’s China Town (Gerrard Street at the junction with Wardour Street, W1).

I presume that at some stage people have sat and caused unintentional damage to the shops’ windows. So the spikes are used as deterrents to loitering in the same way as the rows of plastic spikes on buildings stop pigeons landing and nesting (because of the damage they cause).

I’m torn over the issue of these spikes. I have empathy for the street homeless and I personally like to sit and watch the world go by. But I can also understand why business’ would use them.

Personally it makes me uncomfortable because it kind of feels like a form of social engineering and an unsympathetic, immoral way of dealing with social issues and overcrowding in my city.

Wherever they are installed, these spikes ultimately affect all of us, they stop us sitting and relaxing, people watching, having somewhere to rest, eat and drink.

What are your thoughts? Do some of our fellow men (and women) deserve to be treated like pigeons? The spikes say a lot about our society.

My two images left me thinking: Are we really going down the road of treating humans like feathered vermin?

One comment

  1. You have highlighted a tricky one here Jimmy. We all like to have concern for the homeless, and to worry about inequality in society. Trouble is, should shops and businesses, paying astronomical rents and business rates, be expected to supply some of the answers for rough sleepers?
    Filthy duvets, stained cardboard, urine, faeces, empty cans and food wrappers, all items routinely abandoned every morning by the ‘homeless community’. They have to be cleared up by someone, and in a private entrance, or shop doorway, they become the responsibility of the owner. Years of frustration, inaction by the councils, and ever-spiralling rates, all this has led to the distressing sight of these ugly spikes and other obstructions.

    Sometimes, we have to accept responsibility for our own actions, and when we choose not to, this is the result.
    Good topic for discussion, got me thinking at least!
    Cheers, Pete.

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