Clarification: We don’t evict people at short notice

ON January 9, an article reported that Brighton and Hove City Council had evicted homeless people from their tents on New Year’s Day.

In the article, it was claimed that the evictions had taken place in the early hours of the morning and that the council had told the rough sleepers that they had ten minutes to move their belongings or they would be taken to the dump. 

The council denies these allegations: no one was evicted from their tent on New Year’s Day and the council does not evict people at short notice or threaten to dispose of their belongings.

This correction has been published following a complaint upheld by the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

Council branded inhumane for kicking rough sleepers out of their tents

A COUNCIL has been branded inhumane after rough sleepers were kicked out of their tents on New Year's Day.

Volunteers who look after the homeless said a group has been turfed out of their tents and into the freezing weather on the morning of January 1.

Linda Moore, who runs the Brighton In Need charity, said that 11 people living in tents had been given ten minutes to move on.

She said: "These people are humans just like you and me who do not deserve to be woken in the early hours and given ten minutes to gather their belongings together only to see what they don't manage being taken away to the dump.

"Life is hard enough for us all. Why make it harder for those less fortunate?

"To move 11 tents is inhumane. I was so incensed. That's people's homes."

She added: "People came along in the early hours and gave them ten minutes to collect all their belongings.

"They offered them no alternative or solution. The problem is not going away."

In September The Argus reported that a number of people were living in tents in green spaces in the city centre. In particular the number of tents in Victoria Gardens has grown steadily until the eviction action on January 1.

Rough sleeper Les Redmond, 50, who lives on the streets with his two dogs, said friends who lived in tents had been forced to move on.

He said: “We are always getting moved on.

“I know people who have been sleeping in tents and it’s heartless.

“Where are we supposed to go?"

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman said that outreach workers "on occasion" ask "tent dwellers" to move on. But said: "People are always offered advice on where to get help.”

She added: “We have a multi-agency approach to helping rough sleepers and people living in tents.

"Working with our partners we look at what support individuals need.

"There are cases when people are asked to stop camping around the city and this is handled working with partners and outreach workers to make sure people are given advice on where to go.

"Living rough or in tents can be a dangerous experience, especially at this time of year. The council works hard to look after people in need on the streets.”


LES REDMOND says he has spent “too many years to count” on and off the streets.

He’s been sleeping rough, mainly in Western Road, Brighton, since he was forced to move out of the Sanctuary, which closed down last July.

His main companion is Cyrus – a dog he took care of after his friend Gareth Kilie (COR)died on the streets just over a year ago.

Gareth’s death was the first of a number among the city’s street community, sparking concerns that unless urgent steps were taken the death toll would rise.

Since then Les said dozens of his friends had died on the streets.

He said: “If nothing is done then we are all going to die.

“I know lots of people who have died in the past year and that’s all people who should have been supported by social care.

“In a couple of days from now it will be me. You will be looking for me and I’ll be dead.”

The official count of rough sleepers has doubled from last year with 144 on the streets.

Linda Moore, of Brighton In Need, said she had seen about 30 rough sleepers on a single run offering vital supplies last week.

She said: “I know of one young woman who died recently. She was just a young girl called Karine and she just faded away.

“Her boyfriend and her used to sit in London Road. He was struggling.

“The situation does seem to be particularly dire at the moment.

“People always want to help around Christmas but homeless people get forgotten about in January.

“This is the time of year when weather conditions are the most dangerous for them.

“The wet conditions are particularly difficult for rough sleepers as much as the cold because their duvets and things never dry out.

“Those pop-up tents are actually ideal.

“The thing we always notice every time we go out is rough sleepers will never take more than they need.

“They will always say ‘no save it for someone else’ if they’ve got enough.

“On New Year’s Day one man lent his gloves to one of our volunteers because her hands were so cold.”

Commenting on the council turfing homeless people out of their tents, he said: “Who does this policy help?

“I am under no illusion of the problems some of our rough sleepers have but to take away their only home is merciless.

“To those in the council who issue the orders for tents to be moved, I issue you the challenge, come out with us and meet these people you so obviously think are a nuisance.

“The problem will not disappear by the removal of tents.”

Pippa Green, of Sussex Nightstop, which provides services to prevent people aged 16 to 25 from becoming homeless, said it was a particularly bad time of year for homeless people.

She said: “We have young people telling us how badly it affects them being out in the cold.

“If there’s nowhere for you to get out of the cold night after night, both mentally and physically your health really suffers and life expectancy when you are on the streets is so much shorter.

“Plus there is the huge cost on the NHS and police in the long run.”

She said there was no single solution to homelessness and said agencies must work together to come up with a long-term plan to give people the skills they need to survive.

In December it was announced that Brighton and Hove would benefit from £1.25 million of Government funding to tackle its worst homeless crisis to date.

The official rough sleeper count on November 8 found 144 people on the streets, made up of 126 men and 18 women.

It was more than double the number counted in 2015.Just last month charity Shelter revealed that one in 69 in the city were effectively homeless with more than 4,000 people sleeping rough or in emergency or temporary accommodation.


BRIGHTON and Hove City Council’s street services work with more than 1,000 cases each year.

Around a third of these relate to people who have been seen more than once: in 2014-15 there were 1,129 cases involving 775 people.

Statistics show that people sleeping rough are more likely to get ill and die younger. They are also more vulnerable to violence than the wider population.

City homeless charities Brighton Housing Trust, St Mungo’s, Pavilions, Equinox and Nightstop have teamed up to offer people an alternative to giving money to homeless people on the street.

The groups aim to help rough sleepers to access support and provide information to residents so they know how they can best help those in need.

For more details, visit