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Camden homeless deaths: Borough among worst for deaths on the streets in the UK, says new ONS report

PUBLISHED: 18:18 26 February 2019 | UPDATED: 19:11 26 February 2019

A person sleeping rough in a London doorway. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A person sleeping rough in a London doorway. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Camden had the joint sixth highest number of homeless deaths in the UK in 2017, according to new data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The statistics show that in 2017, it estimated 15 homeless people died in Camden.

This is the second highest figure in London, behind Lambeth, and only six fewer than Manchester, where 21 people died.

According to their figures, 12 people were confirmed to have died in the borough.

In two of the five years looked at, Camden had the highest number of estimated homeless deaths in the country; in 2013 and 2016. In the latter year, it worked out to 11.7 estimated deaths per 100,000 of the population.

The ONS has produced the figure from looking at death records and also using statistical modelling to examine other records which weren’t identified as homeless people.

It believes the number produced is “a robust but conservative estimate” and said the real figure may be even higher.

Camden’s community safety spokesperson Cllr Nadia Shah said the news was “deeply concerning”.

She added: “In Camden we are investing in services which offer a route off the street for all rough sleepers in the borough.

“This enables vulnerable adults who find themselves in this predicament to access the support and housing they need to rebuild their lives.”

At Monday’s Camden council meeting, Cllr Luisa Porritt (Belsize, Lib Dem) said the statistics were evidence that “homelessness is one of the biggest crises facing our borough”.

The report builds on ONS estimates from December which said there was 597 estimated homeless deaths in England and Wales in 2017.

Jon Sparkes, the chief executive of homelessness charity Crisis, called the figures “shameful”.

He said: “It’s nothing less than shameful that so many people across London and [Camden] have died while homeless, especially when we know it is entirely preventable. This simply cannot go on.”

William Ford, a partner at the Camden-based law firm Osbornes, specialising in housing, told this newspaper: “The statistics certainly tally with the increased levels of homelessness since 2010 that are well documented in other research.

“It is incredibly sad that the numbers of deaths from homelessness within Camden are in the top 5 highest nationally. On a personal level I have certainly seen a significant increase in street homeless people in the Camden area in recent years.”

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