Volunteers sought for Camden rough sleeper count

Camden Safer Streets Team will be carrying out a comprehensive count of people sleeping rough in the borough this week and is looking for volunteers from the community to help.

Someone sleeping on the street under a blanket.

Camden has London’s second highest rough sleeper population.

In the autumn of 2017 an official count revealed that there were total of 1,137 rough sleepers in London. Camden reported the largest increase from 17 in 2016 to 127 in 2017 — a 647 percent increase (correcting a huge underestimate the previous year). Westminster showed the greatest decrease of 43, or 17 percent from the previous year, but still has the highest rough sleeper population of any council area in the UK.

The government is reviewing the way it collects homelessness statistics after a critical report two years ago by the UK statistics authority, which said its rough sleeper figures were untrustworthy and vulnerable to political manipulation.

On a night this week volunteers will be briefed before joining trained outreach workers to assist with a count of the number of people sleeping on the streets of Camden.

The count will start at the SST office at 140-142 Kings Cross Road at 11pm where a co-ordination meeting will be held and food provided. Volunteers will then go out with an SST outreach worker to one of a number of areas where rough sleepers are known to bed down and count how many people are sleeping rough.

The count should be finished by 3am at the latest. Food and transport home will be provided.

If you are able to help please contact the team by email streetsafe@cgl.org.uk where more details will be provided including the night of the count.

The Camden Safer Streets Team is commissioned by the London Borough of Camden to end street homelessness and reduce street based anti-social behaviour.

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