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Crisis has also published an evidence review undertaken by Cardiff University and Heriot-Watt University for the first time revealing the best evidence from here and around the world on what works to end rough sleeping.

That was an increase of 617 (15 per cent) from autumn 2016, which totalled 4,134.

The figures, based on snapshot street counts and paper estimates by local authorities, show that London, where figures rose by 18%, remains the centre of rough sleeping, accounting for almost a quarter of all rough sleepers. However, in London, this figure stood at 40%, compared with 14% in the rest of England.

A shameful 4,751 people were sleeping on the streets in the autumn of 2017, a figure that has rocketed in recent years as austerity and inflation create a financial trap for the most vulnerable people in society. While the intentions of the Homelessness Reduction Act are good, it can not fix this crisis.

- Nationally, 20% of people sleeping rough were non-UK nationals.

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Chief Executive of Crisis Jon Sparkes said, "It is truly a catastrophe that in a country as prosperous as this, more and more people are finding themselves forced to sleep in unsafe and freezing conditions, when we have evidence to show how the situation could be turned around".

The LGA said the rise in homelessness was a "tragedy" which left people with very complex needs open to crime and exploitation, while housing charity Shelter related the issue to a lack of appropriate affordable homes and cuts to welfare spending. In Eccles, homeless people have taken refuge in an empty office building owned by Peel Holdings.* They face a possession order hearing in court next Monday.

Labour's shadow housing secretary, John Healey, branded the figures as "shameful" and "a bad reminder of the consequences of a Conservative Government".

Official government data shows that on any given night in autumn previous year, 4,751 people were recorded sleeping on the streets, a figure that has more than doubled since 2010.