By Jamie Elliott
Residents and business owners have hit out at Hackney Council for installing studs on benches to deter homeless people from sleeping on them.
Local people have branded the council heartless for adding the metal studs to benches in Dalston Square, an increasingly popular meeting place in one of Hackney’s most affluent areas.
“I think it’s quite wrong that the council are trying to push the problem of homelessness away by making it impossible for people to lie on these benches,” said a local restaurant owner who preferred not to be named. “The council should be dealing with the problem of homelessness, not putting in these cruel studs to get rid of people who have nowhere to sleep.”
The issue of anti-homeless features in architecture was highlighted earlier this year when studs appeared in a doorway in an apartment block in Southwark Bridge road, previously used by rough sleepers.
Speaking at the time, Katharine Sacks-Jones, head of policy and campaigns at Crisis, said people “deserve better than to be moved on to the next doorway along the street. We will never tackle rough sleeping with studs in the pavement. Instead we must deal with the causes.”
Following the furore and condemnation by the mayor, Boris Johnson, the studs were removed.