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Central London: Simon Community find 212 people sleeping rough

In the early hours of Saturday, 4 April the Simon Community carried out its twice yearly headcount of people sleeping rough in Central London.

The count was carried out in the eight Inner London boroughs of: Westminster, City, Southwark, Camden, Lambeth, Tower Hamlets, Kensington and Chelsea and Islington. The last count occurred in November 2008 when 263 people were counted sleeping rough in the same areas.

Although carried out in the same way as official counts undertaken by government departments, the Simon Community's findings are consistently higher than those officially released.

The Simon Community says it would like to stress that the 4 April count is only of those who were visible at the time of counting, and does not include those who sleep in parks, disused buildings or other places not accessible to those doing the count. In addition these figures will have been affected by the high level of police activity in Camden, Westminster and the City in recent months, intended to move-on those sleeping rough to other areas ­ eg Operation Poncho.

A spokesman said: "The numbers reflect the fact that there is still inadequate provision for rough sleepers, despite government protestations to the contrary. In addition, the lack of any safety net for arrivals from the newer EU countries has swelled the number of street homeless, as they have no access to government funding and are therefore trapped in a cycle of homelessness and poverty."

Breakdown by Borough: Westminster 158; Camden 17; Islington 4; Tower Hamlets 3; Lambeth 3; The City 24; Southwark 3; Kensington 0
Total: 212


For more information see: www.simoncommunity.org.uk