Foxtons West End estate agents to remove 'anti-homeless spikes'

Almost 22,000 supporters signed the change.org petition in under 24 hours

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The Independent Online

A London estate agent has been forced to take action after pictures of controversial ‘anti-homeless spikes’ outside its office surfaced online.

Foxtons West End Estate Agents, in High Holborn, said: “We understand that the studs outside our West End office have raised some concerns within the community and we will be removing them shortly.”

A petition to remove the ‘homeless deterrents’ from outside of its branch had been gathering pace today after almost 22,000 people supported the removal – in under 24 hours.

Human rights activist and paralegal, Zahira Patel, 24, – who started the online campaign – said 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.

“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.”

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.

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