Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has today condemned the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality following the publication of new statistics by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing a rise in deaths of homeless people in 2018.
The ONS data shows that there were an estimated 726 deaths in 2018, an increase of over 20% on the previous year. The highest numbers of deaths were recorded in the North West (77) and in London (110).
Layla has renewed her call for the Vagrancy Act to be scrapped, which criminalises rough sleeping and is still in use in many areas in England and Wales.
Commenting, Layla Moran said:
“These figures are simply shocking, and show that it takes more than a rough sleeping strategy document and the creation of a Minister for Homelessness to fix this epidemic. We should all be deeply ashamed that this is getting even worse.
“This out of sight, out of mind mentality needs to stop now. People are dying, and we need to take a more compassionate approach to ending this homelessness crisis. We must protect the most vulnerable people in our society, but instead the Tories are sitting on their hands.
“We first need to scrap the cruel, Dickensian Vagrancy Act, which criminalises rough sleeping. The Conservatives are more than welcome to bring back my Bill that would repeal it in a heartbeat.
“The Liberal Democrats demand better. We want the Government to be building up to 100,000 social homes a year, provide accommodation and support those in need.”