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Rough Sleepers

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what methodology is used to distinguish migrant rough sleepers from A2 and A8 countries from tourists for the purposes of rough sleeping counts. (157562)

The Department's methodology for local authority rough sleeper street counts, “Guidance on evaluating the extent of rough sleeping (2007 Revision)” has a definition of rough sleeping for the purposes of inclusion on local authority street counts. This is

“People sleeping, or bedded down, in the open air (such as on streets, or in doorways, parks or bus shelters); people in buildings or other places not designed for habitation (such as barns, sheds, car parks, cars, derelict boats, stations, or ‘bashes’).”

Only people fitting this definition are included in rough sleeper counts and this would include migrant rough sleepers from A2 and A8 countries. If there is doubt about whether to include an individual, then the local authority will make a decision based on an assessment of the circumstances. This might cover, for example, people sleeping away from campsites who might be homeless but who could be tourists, or people sleeping in transport stations without bedding.