Homeless Deaths Not Recorded In Blackpool

The admission comes despite promises to help rough sleepers in the city.

By Zac and Fatima, Blackpool · April 8, 2020

Pic: Shutterstock

Blackpool Council has admitted that it does not record deaths of its homeless population, despite promises to help rough sleepers in its city. 

In response to a Freedom of Information request made by the media literacy charity The Student View, asking how many homeless people had died in Blackpool in the last five years, the council stated: “We do not record this information.” 

In 2019, Lancashire Live reported that: “this year’s annual rough sleeper count found 15 people sleeping on the streets of Blackpool – an increase from 12 last year,” adding “the count does not include all homeless people, such as those in hostels or sofa surfing.”

A Blackpool Council spokesperson said: “Official statistics on homeless deaths mainly include people sleeping rough or using emergency accommodation such as homeless shelters and direct access hotels, at or around the time of death.

“Figures covering a six year period show that there have been a very small number of deaths in Blackpool of people recorded as being homeless, not only in numbers but as a proportion of people classed as homeless.

“Blackpool Council and its partners work incredibly hard to reduce rough sleeping and to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place.

“We have developed a pro-active and multi-disciplinary outreach service for rough sleepers, which includes health professionals. Support for rough sleepers is not just about providing accommodation, but also seeks to address underlying issues such as addiction and mental health problems.”

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“In addition, the unprecedented situation surrounding the coronavirus outbreak has also seen the council move swiftly along with its many partners to protect and support people who are vulnerable such as the homeless whether that be rough sleepers or other residents that are struggling.

“The majority of Blackpool’s homeless have been provided with accommodation by the council and housed within B&Bs near to the centre of the town.

“Blackpool also has a formal Homeless Partnership and a Food Partnership, both of which encourage and coordinate collaboration between a wide range of statutory and third sector partners to work together to help the homeless.”