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First count reveals 22 homeless people died in Newham

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:40 27 February 2019

A total of 22 people died homeless in Newham between 2013 and 2017. Picture: STEVE POSTON

A total of 22 people died homeless in Newham between 2013 and 2017. Picture: STEVE POSTON

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The first local count of deaths among the homeless has revealed there were 22 fatalities in the borough.

The figures are for people either living on the streets or in temporary accommodation who passed away in Newham between 2013 and 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The statistics agency used its own death registration records to identify the number of deaths in the borough and every council in England and Wales.

It also estimated the number of registrations where people were likely to be homeless when they died but weren’t identified as such.

Newham’s estimated figure is 27, the analysis showed.

The ONS described its calculations as conservative warning the real figure could be higher.

The most recent head count of rough sleepers in Newham in January 2019 recorded 44 people down from a high of 105 last September.

A Newham Council spokeswoman said: “The premature death of anyone in our community, regardless of their circumstances, is profoundly regrettable.

“Since taking office last May this administration has committed itself to treating homeless people with the care and respect they deserve.

“The mayor has made tackling homelessness in the borough one of her top priorities and by working in partnership with the GLA and charities like St Mungo’s, the council has now put in place a thoroughly joined up set of projects and facilities to get as many homeless people off the streets as possible.

“The council is committed to working with charities, volunteers and rough sleepers to tackle the problem.”

She added that Newham also won £1.6million of a £30m government grant to tackle the rough sleeping crisis and was awarded £100,000 to help individuals with the most complex needs move away from rough sleeping.

Since 2018 Newham has introduced new projects and facilities for homeless people including a 10-bed assessment centre, more outreach staff, extra night shelter provision, additional emergency accommodation and increased day care, the spokeswoman said.

The ONS report was published after it released national figures last year.

This is the first time the organisation has estimated the numbers at a local level.

In London from 2013-17 there were 536 deaths identified with the highest total – 73 – in Camden.

For neighbouring Barking and Dagenham the ONS identified four people as having lost their lives because they had no home while in Tower Hamlets there were 44, according to the figures.

To report homelessness contact StreetLink @Tell_StreetLink or via Facebook.

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