The number of people sleeping rough in central London has increased
by nearly 50 per cent over the past year and a half.
According to the Simon Community’s annual winter head-count last
weekend, 302 people were sleeping on the streets of Camden, City of
London, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Southwark,
Tower Hamlets and Westminster. This compares with 204 people
recorded in March 2001 and 266 in April 2002.
Simon Community campaign co-ordinator Bill Moore said the figures
exposed the government’s claim that it had reduced the number of
rough sleepers by over 70 per cent over three years.
But a government spokesperson disputed the charity’s figures and
said its own count in September had recorded 321 rough sleepers
across the whole capital.