Nearly a fifth of rough sleepers on the streets of London are Romanian, a Whitehall report said yesterday.
It said that of 7,581 rough sleepers, 1,388 said they were from Romania – almost double the 730 recorded last year
The high count of street dwellers from Romania follows complaints from local politicians that organised gangs from the country allocate areas for sleeping and run crime operations covering begging, robbery and prostitution.
- Of 7,500 rough sleepers in London some 1,388 say they are from Romania
- The number of Romanian rough sleepers has almost doubled in a year
- Local politicians claim organised gangs control begging and robbery
- Some new arrivals are given ‘begging pitches’ before arriving in London
According to the estimates published by the Communities Department, fewer than half the rough sleepers in London are British. The count, carried out over the year to the end of March 2015 by the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (Chain), said there were 3,212 British rough sleepers – 43 per cent of the total. There were 639 from Poland and 227 from Lithuania.
The large number of Romanian street sleepers was the subject of an inquiry by Westminster Council in 2012.