Leicester reports rough sleeping rise

There has been a steep rise in asylum seekers sleeping rough in Leicester, according to a new report.

The number of asylum seekers sleeping rough more than trebled from 32 in 2005 to 100 in February 2006, while 200 said they were sleeping on friends’ floors, up from 136.

More than 100 said they had been destitute for 12 to 18 months, according to the report by the Leicester Refugee and Asylum Seekers’ Voluntary Sector Forum.

Almost 160 faced a high level of risk, and more than half of these had dependants.

Most said they were destitute because their asylum claim had failed and they were not prepared to return voluntarily to their countries of origin, meaning they did not qualify for statutory support. The report said failed asylum seekers should be allowed to work until it was safe to return home.

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