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www.crimejusticejournal.com IJCJ&SD 2016 5(1): 67‐81 ISSN 2202–8005 © The Author(s) 2016 The London Spikes Controversy: Homelessness, Urban Securitisation and the Question of ‘Hostile Architecture’ James Petty University of Melbourne, Australia Abstract This article examines an ostensibly new feature of the securitised urban landscape: ‘hostile architecture’. Following controversy in 2014 London over ‘anti‐homeless spikes’– metal studs implanted at ground level designed to discourage the homeless from sleeping in otherwise unrestricted spaces – certain visible methods of environmental social control were temporarily subject to intense public scrutiny and debate. While contests over public and urban spaces are not new, the spikes controversy emerged in the context of broader socio‐political and governmental shifts toward neoliberal arrangements. Using the spikes issue as a case study, I contextualise hostile architecture within these broader processes and in wider patterns of urban secu...