Rough sleeping

If you see someone sleeping rough in the borough, you can call the Street Population Outreach Team on 020 7341 5210 or 020 7361 3008, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

You can also report a rough sleeper via the national website Streetlink or by calling 0300 500 0914.

Rough sleeping is sometimes seen as part of life in a big city. However, the reality and effects of rough sleeping are clear – it can be harmful for those living on the streets and have a negative impact on their neighbourhoods. The average life expectancy of someone sleeping rough is currently only 47 years.

There are many reasons why someone may be sleeping rough. These include mental health issues, drug or alcohol misuse and economic difficulties. A disproportionate number of people sleeping rough have also been in care or in prison.

The Council’s Street Population Outreach Team works in partnership with the local police, voluntary organisations and housing providers to address this problem. We actively go out and make contact with rough sleepers and help them to receive support including accommodation, health services, employment or training.

We do however take a firm stance with those who are causing a nuisance within the community, for example where there is noise, littering, fouling or antisocial behaviour such as street drinking and aggressive begging.