'Anti-homeless' studs outside Southwark apartment-block decried

13 June 2014

ANDREW HORTON/WORLDVIEW MEDIA

WHEN Andrew Horton uploaded to his Facebook page a photo of what he assumed to be "anti-homeless" studs outside a building in Southwark (above), he did not expect it to wing its way around the world within hours.

After spotting the small metal studs in the doorway of 118 Southwark Bridge Road, London, he decided to publish the photo. He asked: "Anyone seen anything like this before?" It has now been retweeted 100,000 times, and he has had requests for interviews from news stations including Sky and the BBC. The story has now been featured around the world, from the TV news programme Good Day L.A., in the United States, to the Toowoomba Chronicle in Australia.

"I want this to be seen not only as socially unacceptable, but legally unacceptable," Mr Horton, a freelance journalist, said on Tuesday.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has described the studs as "ugly, self-defeating and stupid" and called on the developer to remove them.

The leader of Southwark Council, Peter John, said: "Anyone who is sleeping rough deserves to be treated with compassion and respect, not spikes; this is why the council has a dedicated officer working with a number of homeless charities in the borough to find them shelter and the right support."

On Monday, on Tearfund's blog Rhythms, Mr Horton wrote: "I don't want this to just go down as a 'Twitter outrage' story, studied by journalism students across the country. . . If we're serious about trying to transform this country for the good, then we can start by looking after our most vulnerable."

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