London: Number of rough sleepers hits record high


The number of rough sleepers in the British capital London has shown a record increase to reach more than 2,000, according to new data.

Data from the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) shows 3,985 people slept on the streets between this July and September, including some 2,069 new rough sleepers, showing a 50% increase.

The CHAIN figures also show that 22 people join the rough sleepers every day in the city, a number suggesting a new person becomes homeless every 2 hours.

The data came after Office for National Statistics (ONS) data found that last year an average of two homeless persons died every day in England and Wales.

Jon Sparkes, the chief executive at homelessness charity Crisis, said the numbers were “simply unforgiveable,” and that conditions are even worse for many people due to the Vagrancy Act – a law banning sleeping rough or begging.

“This inhumane treatment cannot go on. It’s crucial that all parties commit to scrapping the Vagrancy Act so that we can see the back of this law once and all,” Sparkes told The Independent online.

“Because in 21st century Britain no one should be criminalized because they don’t have a safe place to call home,” he added.
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