Skip to main content

Crisis response to Government ‘pause’ on progressing the Criminal Justice Bill

Today, (31st March 2024) The Times is reporting that the government is facing a rebellion from more than 40 Conservative MPs, over its plans to criminalise rough sleeping as part of its Criminal Justice Bill.

Since the government announced that it would seek to enforce against so called ‘nuisance rough sleeping’ in England and Wales, Crisis has been working with MPs to have these measures dropped.

Instead, the national homelessness charity has been urging the government to focus on implementing the real solutions to homelessness. These includes building more social housing and putting in place support services like Housing First that help people away from the streets and into a permanent home.

In response to the suggestion the proposals have been paused Matt Downie, Crisis Chief Executive, said: “It should never have been government policy to criminalise rough sleeping, so we would be thrilled to see the back of these deeply damaging proposals that will do nothing to support people away from the streets.

“Through our frontline services we see the brutality rough sleeping inflicts on people’s lives. With more and more people being pushed to the brink from the increased cost of living we need a compassionate approach, not one that threatens people with fines or imprisonment.

“We would urge the Home Secretary to listen to his colleagues and drop these cruel and unnecessary measures and focus on the real solutions. These include building the thousands of social homes we know we need and increasing funding for the support services we know work like Housing First.  

“Only when we treat people as humans, rather than a nuisance, will we end rough sleeping for good.”