Bournemouth Borough Council have been strongly criticised for their inhumane and ineffective approach to rough sleeping after installing metal bars across benches to stop people lying down on them. As someone who grew up in Bournemouth, I feel very strongly about this terrible use of public resources, and this hostile approach to our rough sleeping community.
These metal bars are a waste of money which could have been used to support rough sleepers in need.
Claire Matthews at Bournemouth's Hope For Food soup kitchen told The Independent newspaper: ''All it is doing is putting a sticking plaster over the wound. If [the council] stop and think and look at what they are doing and help the homeless off the streets, they would not need all this. Why can't they actually put the money into helping the homeless?''
These metal bars are a public statement about rough sleepers being unwelcome in our community.
Matt Downie, director of policy and external affairs at homelessness charity Crisis, said: ''The use of hostile architecture and other anti-homeless measures is a sad indictment of how we treat the most vulnerable people in our society. Rough sleeping is devastating enough without homeless people having to endure such hostility in their communities.''
Please sign this petition to demand that the hostile metal bars be removed from public benches. Together we can send a clear message to Bournemouth Borough Council that rough sleepers deserve support and respect, not hostility.
Bournemouth Borough Council:
The recent installation of metal bars on public benches to stop rough sleepers lying down is a waste of public resources that would be better spent on supporting rough sleepers. The bars also send a hostile message to our rough sleeping community that is at odds with the compassion and respect they deserve.
Local residents and charities have expressed concern, and the message is clear: the metal bars need to go.
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