'Anti-homeless spikes' outside Foxtons West End estate agents cause anger as online petition takes-off

Founder of petition calls it 'another example of 'defensive architecture'

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The Independent Online

A London estate agent is being petitioned to remove 'anti-homeless spikes' outside of its West End branch after pictures of the controversial ‘homeless deterrents’ surfaced online.

Human rights activist and paralegal, Zahira Patel, 24, – who started the online campaign – says in the change.org post: “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.”

Ms Patel told The Independent: “The progress and response has been surprisingly fast.

“So far, over 2,000 people have signed – since I launched it late last night.”

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Anti-homeless spikes first became a hot-topic last year after more than 132,000 expressed outrage in a petition when a London apartment block on London’s Southwark Bridge Road placed the metal studs in its doorway, which were eventually removed.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, welcomed that decision and said he was pleased to learn the developer on Southwark Bridge Road “done the right thing” to have removed the “terrible spikes designed to deter rough sleeping.”

A Tesco store on Regent Street was also forced to remove similar spikes in June last year after a late-night protest saw activists, dressed as builders, attempt to put concrete over the inch-high studs.

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