Latest rough sleeper count suggests fewer on streets of Brighton and Hove

The number of rough sleepers on the streets of Brighton and Hove has halved, according to the latest figures.

An unofficial count in May found 43 people sleeping on the streets, compared with 91 in May last year.

The figure compares with 66 in March which was up on the 54 people found to be sleeping rough in March last year.

Brighton and Hove City Council said: “Every two months a street count is carried out in the city to capture a ‘single night snapshot’ of the number of people who are sleeping rough in the local area.

“The street count is always carried out at night to make sure those being included are sleeping out.

“The counts are used to increase understanding of the situation in the city and to help direct support where it’s most needed.

“The regular counts are separate to the official annual count that is required by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government each autumn.”

Homelessness campaigner Jim Deans was sceptical about the figures.

Mr Deans runs Sussex Homeless Support, which has two buses operating as night shelters.

He said: “We have had over 25 different faces through the buses in the last month, with a permanent 14 right now. Eight have been women – and we have three women currently.

“The council’s suggestion that more than half all rough sleepers in Brighton have spent a night on our buses is madness.”

The official rough sleeper count generated controversy last year after a change in the method resulted in a lower than expected number.

The official 2018 count found 64 people sleeping rough, compared with an estimate of 178 the year before.

Last year outreach workers and volunteers physically counted the number of people bedded down in the city after midnight on Wednesday 21 November.

The year before an estimate was compiled using information from a number of organisations with efforts made to ensure that any double counting was eliminated.

A rough sleeper, according the government’s definition, is someone sleeping, bedded down or about to bed down in the open air.

This can include someone on the street, in a tent, doorway, park, bus shelter or encampment.

It also includes someone in a building or other place not designed for habitation such as a stairwell, shed, car park or makeshift shelter known as a “bash”.

The official definition does not include someone sleeping in a vehicle.

  1. Andy Mil Reply

    Nonsense, I have lived in Brighton for 9 years mow and it’s the worst that I’ve seen it. Homeless people and rough sleepers everywhere!!

    • SD Reply

      Absolutely spot on, Andy. I wonder what the benefit is for the numbers to be so under reported? This is not a true reflection of the homeless crisis in Brighton and Hove.

  2. Pam Jiggins Reply

    No one should have to sleep on the streets, Brighton is a very strong counci and for this to be happening in this day and age it doesn’t make sense, more police,on the streets would help and if they got missions,and other organisations involved it must be possible,its the only way .

  3. Jon Horley Reply

    I have a cunning plan – why doesn’t the city, so keen to always appear to be right-on, convert the massive empty seafront erection, King’s House, into a life-recovering long or short stay hostel, complete with full staff accommodation, dining facilities, barber, and community facility? Plus a number of flats for rent at – gasp! – REALLY affordable, all-in prices? If l ever win enough on any lottery, that good luck will go towards ensuring no-one sleeps rough in B&H unless that’s their preference. Meanwhile, properties all over the city lie empty. . .

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