Official Statistics

Rough sleeping in England: total street count and estimates 2010

The Rough Sleeping England - Total Street Count 2010 statistical release, classified as Experimental Official Statistics, was published on 15…

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Rough Sleeping England - Total Street Count 2010

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Rough Sleeping England - Total Street Count and Estimates 2010

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Pre-release Access list: Rough Sleeping Statistics England

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Detail

The Rough Sleeping England - Total Street Count 2010 statistical release, classified as Experimental Official Statistics, was published on 15 July 2010.

On 23 July 2010, a further statistical release Rough Sleeping England - Total Street Count and Estimates 2010 was published, also classified as Experimental Official Statistics. The Rough Sleeping England - Total Street Count and Estimates 2010 table provides a breakdown of the 2010 total street count figure by local authority and the results of the street counts from 1998 to 2009 (as published on 15 July); and new rough sleeping estimates as at June 2010 for local authorities that did not carry out a count between January 2009 and May 2010.

Key points from the 2010 Rough Sleeping Total Street Count and Estimates table are:

  • The 2010 total of street counts in authorities with a known or suspected rough sleeping problem was 440. This is down slightly on the 2009 total of 464 and is the lowest total count since the current methodology was introduced in 1998.
  • 70 local authorities conducted a street count. For the first time the 256 authorities that did not count were asked to provide estimates of the number of people sleeping rough on any given night.
  • The total of the estimates of rough sleepers in the 256 authorities that did not conduct a count was 807.
  • The combined total of estimates and counts of rough sleepers in England in 2010 was 1,247; this comprised 440 from the 70 authorities that conducted a count and 807 from the 256 authorities that provided estimates.

Experimental Statistics

Experimental Official Statistics are Statistics that are in the testing phase and are not fully developed. These statistics are designated Experimental Official Statistics because the rough sleeping estimates for authorities that did not conduct a count constitute a new methodology which is still being tested and is subject to modification following evaluation and consultation with users.

Data Quality

In 1996 a methodology for assessing levels of rough sleeping was established based on a one-night count of people found ‘bedded down’. This methodology has been used since to track progress against a total of 1,850 found on counts in 1998.

Rough sleeping counts are carried out in accordance with DCLG guidance and checked and verified by independent verifiers. The counts undergo validation and cross checking by DCLG statisticians and anomalous data are highlighted and verified by contacting the local authority.

This is the first time that precise estimates have been gathered from all authorities that did not conduct a street count. The estimates undergo validation and cross checking by DCLG statisticians and anomalous data are highlighted and verified by contacting the local authority. They have been designated Experimental Official Statistics and will be evaluated and may be modified following consultation with users.

The 2010 figures are based on counts or estimates from all 326 local authorities (100 per cent response).

Guidance for local authorities

Rough Sleeping Counts

Following the consultation paper that was issued on 23 July 2010, the Department for Communities and Local Government published new policy guidance - Evaluating the Extent of Rough Sleeping: A new approach - to help local authorities, in partnership with other local agencies, to carry out a count or submit an estimate of people sleeping rough in their area. This guidance, published on 14 September 2010, explains in detail how the counts are carried out and the procedures in place to ensure consistency in count techniques and how to prepare robust estimates across England. The guidance can be accessed via ‘Related publications’ below.

Rough sleeping estimates

Local authorities who did not carry out a count between January 2009 and May 2010 were asked to submit a single figure estimate of the number of people sleeping rough on any given night as at June 2010. In order to obtain a robust estimate these authorities were referred to the definition of people sleeping rough as given in the guidance and advised to speak to the voluntary sector, the police and other local agencies in order to obtain local intelligence on rough sleeping in their local area.

Consultation

A consultation on the guidance for evaluating the extent of rough sleeping in local areas was issued on 23 July 2010. The consultation sought the views of users on proposals for carrying out counts and producing estimates in the future. The consultation can be accessed via ‘Related publications’ below.

Responsible Statistician: Laurie Thompson

**Public enquiries: ** homelessnessstats@communities.gsi.gov.uk

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