The effects of rough sleeping
Rough sleeping is often associated with activities such as begging, street drinking, substance misuse and other anti-social behaviour, and these can have a negative impact on the wider community. However, it is worth noting that not all rough sleepers engage in such activities. In addition, surveys undertaken by the City Council and St Mungo’s Outreach have found that a proportion of people on Oxford’s streets who beg, or consume drink or drugs in the street are not in fact homeless.
Street homelessness is dangerous, frightening and isolating. Rough sleepers are more likely to be victims of crime and exploitation, and are 17 times more likely to be victims of violence than the general public. A quarter of female rough sleepers have been sexually assaulted while sleeping on the streets.