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Homeless spikes installed to stop people sleeping rough in city centre

'We don’t want to see any of these devices in our city centre,' says councillor 

Will Worley
Sunday 29 January 2017 02:37 GMT
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The spikes are designed to deter rough sleepers
The spikes are designed to deter rough sleepers (MEN)

Metal spikes designed to prevent homeless people sleeping on the ground have been placed outside a building in Manchester city centre.

The council has condemned the “demeaning” devices at Pall Mall Court, which lies in a semi-sheltered area.

Manchester has seen an increase in rough sleepers, up to 78 in 2016 from 70 the previous year, and 1,600 children were living in temporary accommodation in September 2016.

The spikes are on private property, next to a building reported by the Manchester Evening News (MEN) to be managed by real estate business GVA.

The company were unable to be reached by The Independent and rebuffed a request for comment by MEN.

Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester City Council's City Centre spokesperson, said: “We don’t want to see any of these devices in our city centre.

“This is not the answer to rough sleeping, it’s demeaning in that way. There is a lot of this in places like New York and it’s not the solution. It really aggravates and alienates people.”

Andy Burnham, the city’s Labour mayoral candidate, recently pledged to end rough sleeping in the city by 2020.

“We cannot end homelessness overnight but as Mayor I want to bring together churches, companies and voluntary groups to build a new partnership,” Mr Burnham said earlier in January.

“What we can see on our streets is the human cost of cuts to benefits, mental health, drug and alcohol services and a range of council social care services.

“We need to help people break out of extremely difficult circumstances and turn their lives around.”

Mr Burnham’s campaign team have not yet responded to a request for comment by The Independent.

Anti-homeless spikes of this type have appeared periodically in Manchester and elsewhere, and often generate public anger.

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