The number of rough sleepers in England has increased significantly in recent years. According to Government statistics, the total number of rough sleepers in England in autumn 2018 was 4,677, an increase of 165% compared with 2010 and fractionally lower than the 2017 estimate of 4,751.
Many rough sleepers have high levels of complex needs; mental health problems, drug and alcohol dependencies, and institutional experiences are common factors. The longer someone sleeps rough the greater the risk that physical and mental health problems will worsen.
Rough sleeping is costly to society as a whole; rough sleepers are likely to have more frequent and sustained contact with public services compared to other citizens.