At least 449 people have died homeless across the UK in the last year according to new figures from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Howard Sinclair, St Mungo’s Chief Executive, said: “These figures are nothing short of a national scandal. These deaths are premature and entirely preventable.

“The commitment, in the Government’s recent rough sleeping strategy, to ensure a formal review when someone dies while rough sleeping is crucial.

“In this way we will be able to identify what needs to be done, locally and nationally, to stop these tragedies. This week, we will be launching a report that sets out long term solutions to rough sleeping to ensure everyone has a home for good and deaths on our streets become a thing of the past.”

Earlier this year a St Mungo’s report revealed a dramatic increase in the proportion of people sleeping rough who have died with mental health support needs.

Since 2010 the number of people sleeping rough in England has risen by 169%. Over that time the number of people dying on the streets has also increased.

In London where the most consistent data is recorded, at least 158 people who were sleeping rough died over that period. That is an average of one death every fortnight.

Last year, 8 in 10 of those who died were recorded as having a mental health problem, a rise from 3 in 10 in 2010. Nine in ten needed support for mental health, drug or alcohol problems.

Nearly half are non-UK nationals, 28% from Central and Eastern Europe.

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