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|Doubts Surface Over Improved Rough Sleeper Figures
- Official count was fiddled, say charities
GOVERNMENT figures showing a 75 per cent drop in the number of people sleeping rough on Britain's streets have been challenged by homeless charities.
From 2,000 three years ago, there are now reported to be 550 people sleeping on the streets, according to the government's The Rough Sleepers Unit. But groups close to the problem have accused the Unit of sharp practises in arriving at that figure.
"We were asked on the night of the official head count to extend shelter for a number of residents purely so they would not appear on the official count," said Philip Burke, of the Simon Community, a London-based charity. "We are very, very concerned and very angry."
Louise Carey, head of the Rough Sleepers Unit denied any massaging of figures. "There is absolutely nothing in these allegations and I am deeply disappointed by them," she said