‘Anti-homeless’ slope dismantled after outcry

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The former Bank of England building steps which caused a public outcry after an anti-homelessness device was installed. Pic by Hollie Hayes © JMU Journalism

The former Bank of England building steps which caused a public outcry after an anti-homelessness device was installed. Pic by Hollie Hayes © JMU Journalism

The controversial ‘anti-homeless’ slope constructed on the former Bank of England steps last week has been partially removed following a public backlash.

The historic building in Liverpool’s Castle Street is believed to be frequented by rough sleepers all year round and the metal slope was installed on Thursday to prevent access to the steps.

These types of measures are known as ‘hostile architecture’, which involves structures to discourage people from touching, sitting, lying down or climbing on them.

It is not known on whose instructions that the device was mostly removed on Sunday.

JMU Journalism contacted the building’s owners, District and Urban Limited, who referred us to lettings agents, Mason Owen, but neither party would offer a comment on the matter.

YouTube: BBC News

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRpxnwoxdkc

A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council said: “This is a privately-owned building and the decision to put this slope there was not taken by the council. We have no involvement in this and it doesn’t breach any building regulations.”

The former Bank of England was formerly occupied by the ‘Love Activists’ group during a highly-publicised protest in the summer of 2015. The movement took over the property in an attempt to turn the empty bank into a homeless shelter. However, their efforts were cut short after police entered and made several arrests.

In September last year, five of the anti-capitalist activists were jailed for sentences ranging from 10 to 13 weeks for illegally occupying the old Grade-I listed structure.

YouTube: JMU Journalism

About Hollie Hayes, JMU Journalism