Labour has demanded that the government take urgent action to protect rough sleepers as the Office for National Statistics revealed the highest number of estimated deaths of homeless people since the time series began in 2013.
The party has highlighted the alarming data released by the independent statistics authority this morning, which showed that 778 people died homeless in 2019 and that suicide rates among rough sleepers increased by 30% in just one year.
Labour has warned that the pandemic will increase the risks associated with sleeping rough this winter and said homelessness services have told the party that they will not have the tools they would usually to help people off the streets.
Commenting on the figures, Shadow Housing Secretary Thangam Debbonaire said: “The rapid increase in these deaths over the last six years is a shameful sign of government failure and should raise alarm at the top of government.
“Before the Covid crisis, a record number of people were dying while homeless. This winter will be even more dangerous. The government must commit that nobody will spend Christmas on the streets – this is a matter of life or death.