2015 has been a tough year for many people in London. The numbers sleeping rough on the streets has increased across the capital and Camden has been no exception with a 15% increase in 2015 compared with 2014.
However, The Camden Safer Streets Team has been working hard to engage people on the streets and find ways to help them into accommodation. We have had outreach workers out on the streets in the early hours of the morning 7 days a week. We have also been offering support to the residents of local hostels and young people’s housing schemes to keep them in accommodation and support them away from anti-social street activity. SST continues to work with Camden’s most entrenched rough sleepers finding creative solutions for some of London’s most difficult to engage homeless people. We are also responding to reports of new rough sleepers, assessing them and getting them back into accommodation before they become entrenched on the streets.
This year to date we have booked 52 people into accommodation directly from the street and supported a further 35 to be re-housed to avoid being evicted from hostel accommodation. In addition we placed 91 new rough sleepers into the No Second Night Out Scheme and provided supported reconnections to 70 other people to their home town or country. We also referred 112 people into a variety of health services.
SST has been working closely with the police and Camden Council to reduce anti-social behaviour amongst the street population. Despite difficulties in changes of legislation around anti-social behaviour, and the repeal of the ASBO legislation, SST has supported the authorities to successfully apply for three Criminal Behaviour Orders and one Civil Injunction from the courts.
The Streetsafe service has been receiving an unprecedented increase in reports of rough sleepers and street based ASB. Between January and November 2014 SST received 1531 reports of new and/or problematic street activity in Camden. Between Jan and November 2015 we received 2578, an increase of 68%.
As the numbers on the street increase, reports from the public are becoming even more important. We need to find people who need our services, especially those who are new to the streets and vulnerable, quickly, and so we are relying heavily on reports from the community. With this in mind SST would like to thank everyone who has sent in a report in the last year and request that you continue to give us your support in 2016.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at SST!