How we approach some of the issues arising from rough sleeping

Anti-social behaviour

We are committed to tackling anti-social behaviour. This is defined as “behaviour by a person that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as the person". It covers a wide range of unacceptable activity that blights the lives of many people on a daily basis. It often leaves victims feeling helpless, desperate and with a seriously reduced quality of life. 

Working with partners including the police and St Mungo’s Outreach, we tackle begging, drug-related criminality, street drinking and other forms of anti-social behaviour, whilst recognising the additional challenges of addressing the behaviour of people with complex needs. Identification and consideration of a person’s specific circumstances, including their safeguarding and support needs, are an integral part of our approach. We seek to ensure our interventions are reasonable and proportionate, whilst tackling behaviours that are detrimental to the individual and wider public.

Where necessary, we use powers under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to issue Community Protection Notices (CPNs) in response to actions taken that present a hazard or risk to the community or anti-social behaviour that spoils its quality of life – for example, repeatedly leaving items that block fire escapes.

We categorically will not serve a CPN on somebody just because they are sleeping rough or are homeless.

There have been individual rough sleepers engaging in behaviour that meets the legal test for being anti-social (and consistent with the requirements of serving a CPN) - because it is unreasonable, persistent, and has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of the locality. Nonetheless, our position is clear in that we are intent on meeting our duties to support those sleeping rough to be able to get off the streets - whatever their behaviour - through the support and resources we provide.