New data showed Eastbourne’s homeless deaths to population ratio was among highest in the country in 2017.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released homeless mortality figures from 2013 to 2017 yesterday (February 25).
In 2017 there was an estimated five homeless deaths in Eastbourne – which is 6.6 people to every 100,000.
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The ONS said while the highest numbers of deaths were in large urban areas, the highest estimated rates of homeless deaths relative to the population of each area included smaller towns.
In 2017, Blackburn with Darwen topped the list with 10.2 homeless deaths per 100,000 people. Oxford came in second with 8.1 and Camden third with 7.2.
Eastbourne was seventh on the list with 6.6 deaths per 100,000 people in 2017.
There was an estimated four deaths in 2016 in Eastbourne, but zero in 2014 and 2015. There was one death in 2013.
As for areas with a high rate of homeless deaths in 2017, top of the list was Manchester (21) with Birmingham (18), Bristol (17), Lambeth (17), Liverpool (17), Camden (15) and Brighton and Hove (11) also featuring.
An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said: “We are committed to tackling rough sleeping and recently launched a combined Street Community Strategy with Lewes District Council in collaboration with various community partners.
“We have a dedicated outreach worker who regularly visits rough sleepers to encourage them to engage with support services.
“In partnership with Hastings Borough Council we are working to improve accessibility of services to rough sleepers. We have also set up an accommodation pathway and intensive support service, offering appropriate accommodation solutions to the most entrenched rough sleepers.”