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New figures reveal at least 554 people have died homeless since winter 2017

17.12.2018 922 XX

More than 550 people have died homeless since the start of last winter, according to a long-term investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

The figure comes days before the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is due to produce its first ever count of deaths, (which will provide estimates for 2017 in England and Wales.)

Matt Downie, director of policy and external affairs at Crisis, said:

“These statistics are a harrowing reminder of how deadly life on the streets can be. As we get closer to Christmas and temperatures are dropping, rough sleepers are facing exposure to dangerous conditions, above and beyond the violence and abuse often experienced when living on the streets.

“It’s a failure of the largest magnitude that in one of the world’s richest nations, people with nowhere to turn are dying. This has to stop and the government must put in place a full-scale plan to end homelessness once and for all. We also need to see the review system used to investigate the deaths of vulnerable adults expanded to include all cases of people who have died whilst street homeless. With this in place, crucial lessons can be learned that help prevent further deaths. 

“The Government recently pledged to make this happen, but it is disappointing that no progress has been made to support local authorities to implement this. We cannot wait any longer, we need to see action now.”