England: House of Commons paper examines antisocial behaviour powers and the criminalisation of homelessness


England  
House of Commons paper examines antisocial behaviour powers and the criminalisation of homelessness
12.3.18
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"This briefing paper discusses the use of anti-social behaviour powers to ban activities often associated with rough sleeping, and concerns that an increase in the use of these powers is criminalising homelessness and is not addressing the root cause of the problem.

The number of people sleeping rough in England has more than doubled from 1,768 in 2010 to 4,751 in 2017. Rough sleeping is often associated with nuisance activities such as begging, street drinking and anti-social behaviour. Homelessness is a complex issue and entrenched homelessness presents particular difficulties; addictions and criminal and offending behaviour may be a symptom of homelessness as well as an underlying cause.

Nuisance activities can have a negative impact on local communities. The police and local authorities have a range of powers to tackle these activities. However, voluntary sector organisations have voiced concerns that an increase in the use of these powers is criminalising homelessness and not addressing the root cause of the problem."

See: House of Commons Library briefing paper: Rough Sleepers and Anti-Social Behaviour (England) (pdf)

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