Hackney Green Party is today calling on Hackney Council to rethink its proposals to fine persistent rough sleepers and other street people. These are included in the provisions of a Public Space Protection Order covering much of central and south Hackney.
Charlotte George, Green Party spokesperson said: "Hackney Council need to stop criminalizing the homeless and open up to further consultation with homelessness organizations and local communities."
Hackney Green Party is wants to see a coordinated approach to homelessness and rough sleeping. This would include working in partnership across Hackney, improving access to health and rehabilitation services, and providing secure and supported housing.
Ms George added: "Cuts to benefits and support services mean that more people are facing homelessness. Giving someone a £1000 fine and criminal record for sleeping rough will not make things better for anyone. "
1) The number of rough sleepers in London was recorded as 6508 in 2013/14, a 77% rise since 2010. http://www.crisis.org.uk/pages/homeless-def-numbers.html
2) 46% of rough sleepers have a mental health issue, 33% have been in the criminal justice system, and 9% in the care system: http://www.crisis.org.uk/pages/rough-sleeping.html
3) Oxford City Council recently reversed a decision to include 'rough sleeping' in their Public Space Protection Order: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-32794184
4) Evictions of Hackney council tenants due to rent arrears rose by 60% in the year following welfare reforms introduced under the last government: http://hackneycitizen.co.uk/2014/10/22/evictions-council-houses-hackney-homes-green-party/
5) In 2013/14, more than 300 families from Hackney were housed outside the Borough. Most of these families had become homeless due to the end of a private rented tenancy or relationship breakdown: http://www.24dash.com/news/housing/2015-02-20-Over-300-families-with-children-forced-out-of-borough