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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Vigilante removes homeless spikes

This news post is almost 10 years old

Charity praises public response after self-styled vigilante removes controversial homeless spikes in Glasgow

A homeless charity has praised the public after a vigilante dislodged barriers designed to prevent homeless people sleeping in a backstreet in Glasgow.

A photograph on Twitter showed a man called Gary, who calls himself a “citizen vigilante”, removing barriers alongside the message "this is how Glasgow's citizens react to the homeless spikes".

The metal bars had been placed over warm air vents behind an empty building in St Vincent Lane – a popular spot for homeless people to find warmth.

Graham Steven, of Glasgow City Mission, said the charity was "delighted" the spikes had been removed.

He said: "We would like to thank the members of the public for yet again standing up for our city's most vulnerable. Their anger and disgust at the spikes have in no doubt encouraged swift removal."

Massive respect...Glasgow’s own ethico-action man! Many thanks of behalf of many.

Glasgow City Council said it had issued a notice to the owners of the building to remove them within seven days.

Measures to prevent homeless people sleeping in public spaces are increasingly being used by owners of businesses and private buildings across the UK.

However, there is growing public revulsion at their use.

Glasgow resident Cat Tweeted to Gary, who uses the Twitter handle @SniperSouthside: “Well done, you’ve restored my faith in human nature.”

Another, Vikki Thomas, said: “Massive respect @SniperSouthside. Glasgow’s own ethico-action man! Many thanks of behalf of many.”

Reverend John Matthews, who chairs Glasgow Simon Community, a homelessness charity, said it could offer help for employers concerned about their staff and buildings.

He said: “We are trying to spread the word to the public that if they were concerned about homelessness, they can call a freephone number – 0800 027 7466 – and the Simon Team will follow up urgently, addressing the problem without involving the police."