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Crisis responds to Windsor council calls to remove rough sleepers from town centre ahead of Royal Wedding

04.01.2018 734 XX

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: “Fining or in any way criminalising people simply because they are homeless is wrong. We understand that councils have to strike a balance between the concerns of local residents and the needs of rough sleepers, and where there’s genuine antisocial activity, it’s only right that they should intervene. Yet people deserve better than to be treated as criminals simply because they have nowhere to live.

“As a last resort enforcement can play an important role in helping people off the street. However, if it is used against a rough sleeper for genuinely antisocial behaviour then councils must make sure it is accompanied by accessible, meaningful support and accommodation to help that person escape the streets and rebuild their life. Without that support, they risk further marginalising rough sleepers and making it even harder for them to get help.

“Last month the Government issued new guidance to councils making clear that rough sleeping itself should not be considered as anti-social behaviour. We have long asked for this clarity, and very much hope that any Public Space Protection Orders, and other such anti-social behaviour enforcement powers will no longer be used against people simply because they have nowhere to live.”