Increasing homelessness is a law and order crisis

We know that:

1. Current or recent rough sleepers are almost 17 times more likely to have been victims of violence 

  • More than 1 in 3 have been deliberately hit or kicked or experienced some other form of violence whilst homeless (35%)
  • More than 1 in 3 have had things thrown at them whilst homeless (34%)
  • Almost 1 in 10 have been urinated on whilst homeless (9%)
  • More than 1 in 20 have been the victim of a sexual assault whilst homeless (7%)

2. The number of victims of crime recorded as homeless is increasing year on year

The Met Police recorded following numbers for homeless victims of crime in London:

2013 – 1,630

2014 – 2,212

2015 – 3,833

2016 – 4,897

2017 – 5,527

3. Serious and repeat victimisation is common, and experiences of physical and sexual assault are alarmingly high amongst people sleeping rough.

A recent report found that many homeless people were “fearful of not being believed, being dismissed, or not being seen as credible. Where victims did report to the police, experiences were mixed… [with some feeling] that they were not taken seriously or not being treated fairly or respectfully.”

  • People sleeping rough are more likely than the general public to be victims of crime. 
  • The police are recording increasing numbers of homeless people being victims of crime as the number of people sleeping rough increases
  • This is likely to be the tip of the iceberg since many homeless people will not report being victims of crime

You don’t have to believe, as the Mayor of Liverpool does, that crimes against homeless people should be considered “hate crimes”, but the evidence is clear that increasing homelessness is a law and order crisis which needs more than a law and order solution.

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