A GROUP of law students have launched a fundraising campaign to pay for a “landmark legal challenge” against the city council over the treatment of homeless people.

StreetLaw Brighton, which is made up of students from Sussex Law School, claim that Brighton and Hove City Council is breaching Government guidelines on how to deal with homeless people using public spaces in the city.

The group, which is working with Friends and Family of Travellers and the No Fixed Abode Residents Association, are now asking for donations to raise £10,000 to legally challenge orders used by the council to move homeless people on from certain areas.

University of Sussex lecturer in law, Lucy Finchett-Maddock, who is facilitating the campaign, said: “Homeless people are moved on and are having to be displaced. It is another way of making them feel cleansed.

“The council had a chance to review this last month and it doesn’t look like they are making any changes.”

In a statement on their campaign page, StreetLaw Brighton said: “Based on figures provided by Homeless Link, Brighton and Hove is second in the country to Westminster for being an authority with the highest number of rough sleepers, seeing an increase from 2016 to 2017 by almost a third.

“We feel it is deplorable, that during a time of cuts to legal aid, housing benefit, homelessness services, the ending of social housing, rising rents, insecure tenancies, lack of traveller sites and the criminalisation of occupying empty residential property for shelter, that those who have succumbed to the street, are now being cleansed even further.”

Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) are used in certain public spaces in the city to combat anti-social behaviour, with fixed penalty notices of up to £100 being issued for some breaches.

The council uses PSPOs in 12 parks and public spaces around the city.

Government guidelines published last December state that PSPOs should not be used to target homeless people and rough sleepers.

A council spokesman said: “It is one of many tools we can use to ensure that the city is a good place to live for everybody. PSPOs are not about fining people or taking court action for the sake of it.”