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London Homeless DOUBLE After Deportations Blocked by EU Free Movement Rules

Homeless
Dan Kitwood/Getty

There has been a rapid doubling in the number of rough sleepers in London since leftist activists won a court battle to block authorities from deporting Romanian and Polish foreigners living on the streets.

In December last year, the High Court ruled that a scheme targeting foreigners bedding down on Britain’s streets for deportation was discriminatory and broke European Union (EU) Freedom of Movement rules.

The program began in 2015 to target the sharply rising numbers of European migrants camped on London’s streets, and successfully reduced homelessness in the capital.

In 2015, the presence of large numbers of mainly Romanian rough sleepers hit the headlines after they took over famous London landmarks, including Marble Arch, washed in public water fountains, and left litter.

However, after December’s court ruling, there were 41 new homeless arrivals in February, up from 22 in December and 30 in January, The Times reports.

Furthermore, spot checks identified 75 rough sleepers from the EU on a given night, up from 50, and authorities expect the number to shoot back up to the previous peak of 300.

Nickie Aiken, the Tory leader of Westminster council, explained how they are not allowed to use taxpayer cash to house EU nationals, but also now can’t remove them. “We are between a rock and a hard place,” she added.

She also said the council can no longer check the background of EU street sleepers, including criminal offenders or victims  of trafficking. The Home Office stopped sharing information because of the ruling.

“I think the public should be concerned that the authorities are unable to understand who is on our streets,” Aiken said.

“My concern is for those who are coerced or forced here by gangmasters. People on the streets are victims and they are among the most vulnerable people in our society.”

Between March 2015 and March 2016, the number of people thought to be sleeping on London streets shot up from 3,017 to 8,096.

However, between April and June of last year, when the deportation scheme was running, it dropped by 4 per cent, the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) of the London Assembly claims.

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