If you’re looking for any further evidence that December’s general election must look beyond Brexit and at wider issues – the latest rough sleeping figures from London’s CHAIN show the full extent of the “crisis on our streets”.
The statistics show that there were 2,069 people newly sleeping rough on London’s streets between July and September this year – a third more than the previous quarter and up from 1,382 in the same period last year. That means that more than 20 people slept rough for the first time in London every night over the three-month period.
The figures are put together by the Combined Homelessness and Information Network – a multi-agency database that is thought to be the most comprehensive source of information on rough sleeping in London.
"A crisis on our streets."
— St Mungo's (@StMungos) October 31, 2019
They also showed that half of rough sleepers encountered by frontline teams had a mental health need – with 48 per cent found to be UK nationals and 52 per cent of people originating from outside the UK.
To St Mungo’s chief executive Howard Sinclair, the figures represent a “national scandal” and he points the finger at successive governments – which should be a stark warning to the politicians about to hit the campaign trail ahead of the election.