Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.
Members received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services which updated Members on the level and nature of homelessness and rough sleeping activity. The report also provided a summary of Parkguard data. Members noted that the total number of rough sleepers in the City had dropped for the first time in 9 months to 174 in Q1 and increased marginally to 181 in Q2 – 2019/20; slightly above that reported in the same quarter in 2018/19.
There was some discussion on the City Corporation’s position on EU Nationals. Members noted that St Mungo’s had a clear position on their website and the City Corporation carefully checked all casework for compliance. If there were any changes from a national perspective, following the General Election on 12 December 2019, then the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Sub Committee would be engaged in further discussions.
In respect of the £25,000 for Parkguard, Members noted that their presence provided extra safety for the Outreach Team, particularly for female only patrols, and in the secluded and less well-lit areas. The Chairman advised that she regularly accompanied both Parkguard and the Police on their patrols. The regular Parkguard officer had a very good relationship with the homeless population, who generally viewed the presence of uniformed officers as helpful, rather than intimidatory, although a Member observed that some rough sleepers were reluctant to interact with the Outreach Team when they were accompanied by Parkguard officers, which she considered could be limiting the opportunity for engagement. The Chairman stressed that officers were very clear as to why they were collecting the information, which was fully GDPR compliant. Members noted that mental health triage nurses patrolled with the Police 3pm – 2am, 7 days a week, and the Police hoped to increase this to a 24/7 service.
RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.