One of the UK’s most prestigious universities has installed cages over warm air vents, as a way to ward off the city’s homeless sleeping on them.
The cages, which have been placed around the universities campus, completely cover the area surrounding the warm air vents near the college buildings.
Students say they are“disgusted”by the cages, saying that the move shows a lack of love and compassion for the less fortunate.
— Katharina Riekemann (@KatRiekemann) October 8, 2014
“A cold, ugly barred cage had been fixed to one of vents” Cardiff student Lewis Hopkins wrote on his blog.
“I had noticed the winter before that these vents bellowed a comforting pocket of warm air, which from time to time was occupied by the homeless. They never caused any trouble, never littered nor gathered in groups. They were just content with finding a warm place to sleep at night”
He also said that the cages made him “feel disgusted and ashamed” of the university.
However, Cardiff University said that the cages were installed for reasons to do with public health and safety.
“The area covered by the safety grilles are not hot air vents but boiler flue vents that can potentially produce products of combustion – diluted amounts of carbon monoxide being one of these – as part of the diluted boiler flue gases,” a spokesman from Cardiff University said.
“These vents are considered safe in normal use due to the type of flue dilution system being used but there could potentially be an increased risk if people are sleeping right next to the grilles for very long periods.”
Cardiff University’s move comes following the revelation that well to do London boroughs were installing ‘anti homeless spikes’ in order to deter homeless people from seeking refuge there.
Outrage against the spikes led to protests on social media websites, which eventually forced the council to remove the spikes.