ROUGH sleeping in Glasgow has increased in the last year with around three times the number of people discovered on the streets.

An overnight count by volunteers this month found 29 people rough sleeping.

Last year the overnight count in April found 10 people on the streets.

On April 5, people from 11 agencies in the city dealing with homelessness took part, walking the streets for three hours between midnight and 3am.

The groups, led by the Simon Community, included the Health and Social Care Partnership, Glasgow City Mission, Police Scotland, NHS, Marie Trust, Halliday Foundation, Shelter Scotland, See The Invisibles and City Centre Outreach. They covered streets and areas in the city centre, West End, East End and North of Glasgow.

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The organisers said the findings were in line with the numbers their weekly teams had been reporting recently.

On the accuracy of the findings, it stated: “There is always the likelihood that we would not find everyone as some people make great efforts to be undetected.

“Similarly, there is a possibility that people might be in more remote locations outside the city centre, some of which may be in parks and cemeteries, although we have had no reported sightings.”

The team said it also found evidence of daytime begging activity with sleeping bags and mats stored for the next day. Public injecting sites were also identified and reported.

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The Glasgow Times has reported how homelessness has been increasing in the city.

A decision by the UK Home Office to accelerate the decision making for asylum seekers has led to more people presenting to the council as homeless.

Charities had reported being told nightly there was no emergency accommodation and the Overnight Welcome Centre was forced to keep people on the floor through the night as no rooms were available.

The council recognised there has been an increase in rough sleeping.

A spokesperson for Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership said: “We receive weekly reports from Simon Community who are commissioned to provide outreach support and keep track on rough sleeping trends in the city.

“We acknowledge there has been an increase, especially in cases where we do not hold a statutory responsibility, including people with no recourse to public funds, people with existing tenancies and those who, although have been offered accommodation, choose not to occupy it.

“That said, we continue to engage with those we do have a responsibility for, ensuring emergency accommodation provision is available wherever possible. Given the current pressures and the lack of accessible housing supply we understand the level of risk which could impact rough sleeping figures in the city, and we review this weekly with key partners.”