On Monday, LSE Security removed the belongings of a homeless person outside the Old Curiosity Shop on campus.
Security personnel, aided by those dressed in full protective garments, moved the tent that the man had been sleeping in outside the Old Curiosity Shop. They lifted this and the persons’s belongings into a bin. The inhabitant was not present.
When asked about the justification for this action, a security guard said that it was because he was “outside a shop”.
The action follows uproar last summer against the supposed “anti-homeless benches” on campus.
Benches around the library were replaced with those segregated by handrails, leading to claims that LSE was participating in the establishment of anti-homeless architecture.
A petition launched by students gained over 66,000 signatures worldwide, leading LSE to set up a review of the benches with local homelessness charities, police, and estate management teams.
In a statement to The Beaver, LSE Security said that they believed the tent to be uninhabited after monitoring for a number of weeks. They also said that they had received a complaint from building contractor McGee about an “very overwhelming smell” from the tent, which was affecting their work.”
They told The Beaver there was no evidence someone had been living there. However, they also stated that there was no evidence that the tent was definitely unused and abandoned.
Security added that their primary concern was for the wellbeing of the individual using the tent.