Grave concerns expressed that new rules put people sleeping rough at risk.

Leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s has joined forces with more than 60 other charities and organisations to call for the Government’s new immigration policy to be scrapped.

The new rules, which apply to people who are non-UK nationals, were announced last October with guidance for their implementation published last month.

The policy allows for rough sleeping to be used as part of the grounds for refusing or cancelling a person’s permission to remain in the UK.

Today (7 May) a joint statement has been published calling on the Home Office to abandon the plans describing them as ‘inhumane’, putting vulnerable people at risk of exploitation; and deterring people from seeking help.

Chief Executive of St Mungo’s Steve Douglas CBE said: “We stand with our colleagues across the homelessness and migration sector, in expressing our serious concerns about this new immigration policy and its proposed implementation.

“Our outreach teams work day in day out with local authority partners to support people who need help to get off the streets and recover from homelessness – often providing life-saving support.

“This policy will increase distrust of the Home Office’s intentions and is likely to drive people with a legitimate right to remain away from essential services, engender fear and in some instances effectively criminalise rough sleeping.

“St Mungo’s, along with other homelessness and migration charities, will continue to raise this urgent issue with Ministers, and we await their response.”

The full statement can be read here.