Almost 450 Homeless People Have Died In The UK In The Past 12 Months
Shocking figures show almost 450 homeless people have died in the UK in the last 12 months.
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which carried out the nationwide investigation, 449 deaths last year were those of people registered as homeless. However, it's feared the figure could be much higher as there's currently no official definition of 'homeless' - included in the figures were rough sleepers and people in emergency accommodation.
The investigation found that 14 people died in a single week.
Among the causes of death were suicide, drug overdoses, assault and 'prolonged starvation' - with an age range between 18 and 94. The average age of death was 49 for men and 53 for woman, compared to a UK average of 79 for males and 82 for females.
The horrifying figures have been slammed by homelessness charities and campaigners. Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, said: "This important investigation lays bare the true brutality of our housing crisis.
"Rising levels of homelessness are a national disgrace, but it is utterly unforgivable that so many homeless people are dying unnoticed and unaccounted for."
While Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis added: "We know that sleeping rough is dangerous, but this investigation reminds us it's deadly.
"Those sleeping on our streets are exposed to everything from sub-zero temperatures, to violence and abuse, and fatal illnesses. They are 17 times more likely to be a victim of violence, twice as likely to die from infections, and nine times more likely to commit suicide."
More Like This
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism worked with Channel 4 News to pull together data from charities and other outreach organisations.
As a result of their work, the Office of National Statistics (Ons) has said it will work on official figures for the deaths of homeless people, with hopes of being able to shed some light on how and why homeless people die.
Earlier this year, a man named locally as Ben was found dead in the snow in Lincolnshire after the country was hit by the 'Beast from the East'.
His body was found inside a tent in Retford in April, causing an outpouring of shock and grief.
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, other deaths include a Big Issue seller, a former soldier and a musician.
You can read the full report here.
Featured Image Credit: PA