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Scrap the Vagrancy Act (2018)

This report looks at the case for repealing the Vagrancy Act 1824 in England and Wales. 


  • The historical background to the Act, particularly the original intent and assumptions behind it and the fact its use has hit peaks and troughs over time.
  • The current use and effects of the Act.
  • The likely effect of repeal on policing.
  • How effective support would involve better outreach but also a more nuanced approach to any anti-social behaviour and crime that is linked to rough sleeping and/or begging.
  • Legal considerations and why the Act might not be suitable for the present day.
  • Discussion of the way forward.


Morris, N. (2019) Scrap the Vagrancy Act. London: Crisis.