Homelessness figures "Tip of the iceberg"

13 May 2015, 15:51 | Updated: 13 May 2015, 15:54

The St Petroc's Society says that the official figures are just the tip of the iceberg, and homelessness is a serious problem in Cornwall.

The latest government figures state that last autumn, there were 40 rough sleepers on the streets across Cornwall.

Agencies in the Duchy supporting homeless people do an audit each October, where they literally count the number of people sleeping on the streets.

The St Petroc's Society counted 36 people, from Bude to Penzance, and other agencies added a further 4 to that number.

But they tell Heart that the reality of the situation is that many more people are sleeping on the streets in Cornwall.

Official figures show Cornwall as having the highest number of homeless people outside of London.

Richard Bryant, Director at St Petroc's says " A conservative estimate would be between 75 and 85 people at any one time sleeping rough in Cornwall.

"The figures produced, by their own admission, are very low, and it's only the tip of the iceberg".

In a statement, Cornwall Council say "The 2014 estimate, of the number of people sleeping rough in Cornwall on a typical night (13th October 2014), was 40 individuals.

" This shows a significant reduction from the 77 reported in 2013.

" Cornwall Housing and its partners continue to develop new initiatives to tackle rough sleeping and work positively with some of the most excluded people in Cornwall".