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Shocking rise in number of rough sleepers on Cov streets.

Byline: ANNIE GOUK News Reporter

ROUGH sleeping in Coventry has soared again - with three times as many people on the streets as last year.

Across our city, 25 people were found to be sleeping rough in autumn 2018.

That's more than three times as high as the eight rough sleepers counted in 2017 - and the highest figure recorded in the last five years.

And the number is still likely to be an underestimate.

The rough sleeper count is often criticised as it is difficult to cover the entire area in one night, or account for those trying to find a place to sleep that is out of the way.

The worrying rise in rough sleeping in Coventry bucks a national trend, which has seen the number of rough sleeps recorded across England go down for the first time since 2010.

Charities have warned the figure is far too high - and said no-one should have to live like this.

Chief executive of homeless charity Crisis Jon Sparkes, said: "It's a damning reflection of our society that night after night, so many people are forced to sleep rough on our streets, especially when we know that with the right commitment, rough sleeping could be ended for good.

"Living on the streets is one of the most dangerous experiences anyone could face.

"Not only will rough sleepers experience extreme isolation and often severe weather conditions, but we know they have a high risk of dying young and our own research shows they are 17 times more likely to experience abuse than the general public.

"No one should have to live like this."

The rough sleeping count and estimate numbers, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, are single night snapshots of the number of people sleeping rough in local authority areas.

Local authorities decide whether to carry out a count or an estimate.

Councils are encouraged to gain intelligence for street counts and estimates from local agencies such as outreach workers, the police, the voluntary sector and members of the public who have contact with rough sleepers on the street.

There are many practical difficulties in counting the number of rough sleepers within the area of a local authority. It is not possible to cover the entire area of a local authority in a single evening, so counts will be targeted to areas according to local intelligence.

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 4, 2019
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