EXCLUSIVE: MP reveals rise of homeless people ending up in prison

Katherine Johnston (13 February, 2019) Housing

'This is a gross distortion of where funds should go,' says MP

18677Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle

Neil Coyle has shared shocking new statistics at a parliamentary debate on homelessness, revealing that 27 per cent of all who went prison last year were homeless.

The Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP was given the shocking figures by the Justice Minister, who confirmed the rise in people of ‘no fixed abode’ entering the country’s prisons at an estimated cost of more than £900 million.

Speaking exclusively to the News before chairing the debate last Thursday, Coyle said: “This is a gross distortion of where funds should go.

“Prisons are exploding and poorly managed, with prisoners now more likely to come out of jail with a drug addiction than when they went in and are more likely to commit further crimes sadly.

“The Government is failing to get a grip on this issue.

“The homeless figures are an appalling indictment on all Ministers since 2010 and yet another example of how the Government’s wasteful spending and focus on Brexit is side-lining the need to take action on issues affecting thousands of people negatively across the UK.

It is estimated that a record 5,000 people are sleeping rough and a further 320,000 are ‘hidden homeless’ left sofa surfing or living in temporary accommodation.

Last week, the government claimed rough sleeping had been cut by two per cent – or 74 people. Coyle blasted the statistic as ‘pitiful’.

 

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