Birmingham Police Trained To Help The Homeless

1 November 2017, 16:01 | Updated: 1 November 2017, 16:05

rough sleeper

Police in Birmingham have been given training to build relationships with rough sleepers in the city.

Former rough sleepers and charity workers have been helping police understand the problem in Birmingham.

The latest statistics show there are 55 rough sleepers in the city. 

Birmingham City Council's Jacqui Kennedy said: "With the increased presence of individuals on the street it was time for Birmingham to actually do something about it.

"As the council we've enabled a multi-agency approach to address accommodation an engagement.

"Our approach is very much educate, engage and enforce to actually take them off the streets once and for all."

Superintendent Andy Parsons said: "Wed don't make judgements. It's from engagement that hopefully we start to build some trust. 

"We can work with individuals to address any needs and vulnerabilities they might have."

A new team tackling rough sleeping in Birmingham are asking people to give to charities rather than individuals on the street. 

Superintendent Parsons continued: "Ultimately, it doesn't tackle the underline cause of the problem and the reason why they are begging in the first place. 

"Often there are some really complex and challenging needs. What we need to do is understand those and put the right services in place to address them."

"I will never say don't provide food or money. What I would like to do is educate the public to ask themselves the question do they really know if that's what's required or what's going to be done with it.

"Giving to a charity, we can give them that assurance."