By Simon Green
A report released by the government has shown that the number of people sleeping on Britain’s streets has risen by 73% since 2010, with 4,571 people a night recorded as sleeping rough in autumn 2017.
The homeless charity Crisis believes that a further 9,000 people sleep in tents, on trains or other public transport.
Labour have labelled the figures as “shameful” and a “national scandal”, which was worsened by the government admitting that an anti-homelessness taskforce set up last year has not met once since its inception.
Philip Hammond announced such a task force in his Autumn Statement in 2017 to tackle the issue, with the aim of halving homelessness within 5 years and eradicating it within a decade. This admission has been interpreted by critics as Mrs May’s government not understanding the scale of the issue.
This political anger could turn to outrage, among fears that deaths, given the current trend of freezing weather conditions, could be a real possibility within the homeless population.
While pledges and targets to end homelessness are welcomed by all parties, if such tragedies do occur, political and public pressure would reach unprecedented levels. The Homelessness Crisis could be about to become a catastrophe.
Photograph: Kid Clutch via Flickr