Residents slam ‘inhumane’ homeless camp blockade

Residents have slammed the council’s “inhumane” decision to clear out and block off a homeless camp in Lincoln.

The City of Lincoln Council took the decision after residents and the police raised concerns about anti-social behaviour in the area.

Under the stairs of the Wigford Way bridge in the city centre had been a popular spot for homeless people before it was fenced off.

All of the sleeping bags, blankets and other belongings have been cleared out and a metal fence has been fixed to the stairs.

All of the belongings have been cleared out. Photo: Connor Creaghan for The Lincolnite

“It is surely a horrid [and] inhumane thing to do,” local resident Stefan Thompson told The Lincolnite.

He continued: “It’s the equivalent of putting spikes on a shop door to stop rodent pigeons. Homeless people have never been an issue to me and have always been polite when I give them change.

“They huddle together for warmth at night. It’s recently been minus four degrees Celsius and it’s horrible to see.”

A new intervention team set up by City of Lincoln Council are said to have visited the site under the bridge and attempted to engage with the people based there.

Barriers have been fixed to the stairs to prevent anyone getting under the stairs. Photo: Connor Creaghan for The Lincolnite

Simon Walters, director for communities and environment at the council, told The Lincolnite: “The safety of residents and visitors to Lincoln is always a priority.

“Prior to the closure [we] visited the site numerous times. Some were found to have housing, whereas others were placed into temporary accommodation.

“Unfortunately a small number were unwilling to engage with us. We will continue working with local organisations to offer help to rough sleepers and those with mental health and addiction issues.

“We help them into a pathway of support that meets the very complex needs they each have, while also ensuring that public safety is maintained.”