New UK government figures reveal a dramatic increase in the number of people sleeping rough in Britain, with the figure rising by almost a third in one year and doubling over five.
The “snapshot” figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government found that 3,569 people were sleeping on the streets on a typical night in the autumn of 2015, compared to 2,744 the year before, marking an increase of 30 percent – the greatest single hike in the last 5 years.
The 2015 figure was double that of 2010, when 1,768 people were found sleeping rough on a typical autumn night.
Jon Sparkes, CEO at the homelessness charity Crisis, said the figures are a “stark and sobering wake-up call.” The charity is calling on the government to extend support currently offered to first-time home buyers to homeless people who are looking to rent but can’t afford to do so.
The ten local districts with the highest number of people sleeping rough were Westminster, Bristol, Brighton and Hove, Manchester, Cornwall, Brent, Luton, Bedford, Croydon, and the City of London.