'Number of homeless people in England hits highest level'

Govt data also shows that rough sleepers went up by 15 per cent in just one year

Statistics published by the government today reveal that number of people sleeping rough in England has reached record levels, with figures showing an annual rise of 15 per cent.

This means that an estimated 4,751 people bedded down outside overnight last year, a figure which has almost doubled since 2010.

The figures, based on snapshot street counts and paper estimates by local authorities, also show that the rest of England recorded a 14 per cent rise, with the biggest regional increase in the north west (39 per cent), where rough sleeping has almost doubled over the past two years.

There was also evidence that rough sleeping has increased rapidly in areas of the wider south east, where Oxford, Southend-on-Sea, Thanet, Swindon, Medway, Eastbourne, Hastings, Worthing, Peterborough, Reading and Wilshire all recorded rises at at least double the national average.

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