Rough sleeping in Wales increased by 1% in 2018 count
05.02.2019 525 XX
Rough sleeping was slightly up in Wales in 2018 compared to the previous year. Welsh Government's national rough sleeper count, based on a two-week information gathering exercise in October 2018, found that the number of people sleeping rough was up by 1% compared with the same point in the previous year but the situation is different across Welsh council areas.
Commenting on the statistics released today, Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of homelessness charity Crisis, said:
“It’s nothing short of a national scandal that night after night there are still people forced to sleep rough on our streets, especially when we know that if we take the right steps rough sleeping could be ended for good.
“Living on the streets is one of the most dangerous experiences anyone could face. Not only will people sleeping rough experience extreme isolation and often severe weather conditions like those seen across large parts of the country last week, but we know they have a high risk of dying young. Our own research also shows they are 17 times more likely to experience abuse than the general public. No one should have to live like this.
"Under the new First Minister’s leadership, a timely opportunity exists for the Welsh Government to commit to end rough sleeping and all forms of homelessness . This includes tackling the root causes of homelessness, such as building more social housing, preventing more people becoming homeless, and rapidly rehousing people who find themselves without a home. Homelessness is not inevitable and now is the time for a commitment and a plan to make ending homelessness in Wales a reality."
- The national rough sleeper count in Wales was based on a two-week information gathering exercise in October 2018 (Phase 1), followed by a one night snapshot count on 9th November 2018 (Phase 2). Local authorities estimated that 347 persons were sleeping rough across Wales over 2 weeks between 15th and 28th October 2018 (up by 1% on 2017) and reported 158 individuals observed sleeping rough across Wales between the hours of 10pm on Thursday 8th and 5am on Friday 9th of November 2018 (down 16% on 2017).
- Statistics on risks to people sleeping rough are from:
- ONS statistics (2018) on Deaths of homeless people in England and Wales: 2013 to 2017
- Sanders, B. & Albanese, F. (2016) “It’s no life at all”: Rough sleepers’ experiences of violence and abuse on the streets of England and Wales. London: Crisis.