One Facebook post from the police shows the despair of homeless people in the UK

Homeless Man

A police force revealed in a social media post that a homeless man intentionally tried to get himself arrested. It was seemingly an attempt to have somewhere to stay for the night. And his actions sum up the crisis of homelessness and rough sleeping that’s sweeping the UK.

Utter despair

On 22 February, City Centre Greater Manchester Police (GMP) wrote on Facebook that a homeless man had thrown a fire extinguisher through an office window. As GMP said, the man:

wanted to be in a Police cell tonight instead of being on the streets. This just goes to show how tough life on the streets must be if someone is willing to do this for a bed for the night.

GMP Homeless

As Manchester Evening News reported the man allegedly went into the reception area of a building on Miller Street. The article also detailed how rough sleeping in Greater Manchester has gone up 42% in the past 12 months. There’s been a 15% rise nationally. But these figures don’t show the full extent of the crisis sweeping the UK.

Lying?

As The Canary previously reported, at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on 13 December 2017 Theresa May effectively lied about homelessness figures in the UK. She said that:

Statutory homelessness peaked under the Labour government and is down by over 50% since then. It’s this government that is delivering for people on housing.

Read on...

But as The Canary‘s Frea Lockley noted, May:

used inaccurate and ‘misleading‘ figures about homelessness. And because the government was ordered not to use these figures by the UK Statistics Authority, May knew that they were not accurate. In other words, she knowingly misled parliament; or lied.

And the truth is much worse.

Failing homeless people

To start with, the number of rough sleepers rose by 169% between 2010 and 2017.

Figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) also show that [pdf, p1]:

  • Between 1 July and 30 September 2017, there were 15,290 statutorily homeless households, up 2% from 14,930 on the same quarter of last year.
  • On 30 September 2017, the number of households in temporary accommodation was 79,190, up 6% from 74,750 at the same date last year, and up 65% on the low of 48,010 on 31 December 2010.

Also, the number of households in temporary accommodation was the highest it’s been since 2007 [xls, table 782, row 15, column D]. And under May’s watch, the number of families with children in temporary accommodation hit its highest levels since 2008 [xls, table 782, column F – row 52 vs row 16]. The DCLG also revealed:

The fact that people would prefer to be arrested rather than sleep rough is a damning indictment of the UK. But it is also a catastrophic failing of successive Conservative-led governments that more and more people have so little left in life that they have to call the streets their home.

Get Involved!

– Support grassroots groups the Museum of HomelessnessStreets KitchenFocus E15 and Greater Manchester Housing Action.

Featured image via Garry Knight/Flickr

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed