Speaking ahead of the launch tomorrow of Crisis’ report into the case for repealing the Vagrancy Act of 1824, which criminalises rough sleeping in England and Wales, leading campaigner Layla Moran MP has said that “now is the time to act”.
The MP for Oxford West and Abingdon held a debate in the House of Commons in January on her campaign to repeal the Vagrancy Act, and also introduced a Bill to repeal it in February 2018.
The report says that the Act “does not tackle the problems people have, and there is evidence that it can also push people further from the help they need.”
At the launch of the report tomorrow afternoon, Layla will urge the Government to repeal the law, saying that “you can’t ignore the evidence”.
Commenting, Layla said:
“I absolutely welcome the publication of this report – you can’t ignore the evidence and it is clear that the Government needs to repeal the Dickensian Vagrancy Act. It is making many people’s situation even worse.
“Now is the time to act. I will continue to campaign until we have scrapped this cruel law and we take a more compassionate approach to the homelessness crisis we are facing in this country.
“Almost 600 homeless people died on our streets in 2017 alone. We need to end this ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude that the Act promotes and get on with fixing the problem.”