Rough sleeper numbers revealed

More than 40 people sleep rough on Hertfordshire's streets every night, according to a new survey.

For the first time, councils across England were asked to either count or estimate the number of people sleeping rough in their area.

Across England, an estimated 1,768 people spend each night sleeping rough - a lot higher than previous estimates, which put the figure at around 440.

Here are the estimates of rough sleeping for local authority area in Hertfordshire:

Dacorum 7
Hertsmere 0
North Herts 8
St Albans 2
Three Rivers 2
Watford 8
Broxbourne 1
Welwyn Hatfield 1
East Herts 7
Stevenage 7

Total 43

Homeless charity Crisis have told Heart they think the problem could be about to get worse, because of the current state of the UK economy.

Duncan Shrubsole from the charity said: "We know there are more people in need and we're very concerned that as cuts start to bite - cuts to housing benefit, and cuts to local services - that this will have a real impact, causing more people to become homeless and at worst, end up rough sleeping."

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said: "For too long a supposedly national figure of rough sleepers hasn't reflected the reality on our streets.

"Councils and local charities know their areas best and that's why I am putting them centre stage on assessing the true scale of the problem they face locally.  By having these more accurate numbers and a better national picture of the problem - we can start to help the homeless much more effectively."

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