Rough sleeping in the capital 'getting worse,' Londoners say in poll

Londoners say rough sleeping has surged in the capital in recent years, a survey showed today.

Seven in 10 think the problem is worse across the city, while over nearly half reported a rise in their own area, found a poll for Queen Mary University of London.

More than half think the Government is most responsible for the increase, while one in six blamed their local borough council. 

Professor Philip Cowley of the university’s Mile End Institute said: “It’s rare in polling to find things where almost everyone agrees – but Londoners overwhelmingly think rough sleeping has got worse and four out of 10 of us think it’s got a lot worse in recent years.”

The YouGov research  found 41 per cent of Londoners think rough sleeping has risen “a lot”, and 28 per cent thought it was up “a little”. 

There was a mismatch between people’s impressions of the rise across the city and their experience of their own local area. Only 19 per cent thought it had risen “a lot” in their own area, which is less than half the proportion who said the same about the whole of London, which suggests people may assume it has gone up more than they have seen with their own eyes.

Young people were less likely to think it was up than older age groups. Just 56 per cent of Under-25s thought it had risen overall, compared with 78 per cent of over-65s.

YouGov contacted 1,155 adult Londoners online between February 12 and 15.

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