SHOCKING figures show a growing number of rough sleepers and homeless people are dying on the streets.

At least 20 people in Brighton and Hove died in the past year, according to charities and doctors keeping count.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism found they were among 449 homeless people who have died across the UK last year, more than one person every day, and it is believed the real figure could be even higher.

Homeless charities have described the figure as a “national scandal”.

Read more: Tragic list of homeless deaths in Brighton

But Brighton and Hove City Council chiefs have vowed to tackle rough sleeping, and say that even one person sleeping rough is one person too many.

The figure includes those who are sleeping rough, as well as those living in temporary accommodation such as bed and breakfasts, or those sofa-surfing.

Cllr Clare Moonan, who is the lead councillor for rough sleeping, said she wants to end rough sleeping in the city by 2020.

She said: “The rise in the numbers of people sleeping rough is a national concern and we’re determined to tackle the challenges our city faces.

“Even one person living rough on our streets is one too many.

“Homeless people often have complex needs and these can be a contribution to their physical wellbeing.

“Although it is rarely the case that being homeless is a cause of death, it’s obviously not a good way of life and we work hard to help people in this situation.”

Cllr Moonan said extra funding has been secured from the Government, and more services will be made available during the colder winter months.

The authority has a Rough Sleeping Strategy, using temporary accommodation and coordinating information from all deaths associated with homelessness.

She added: “We are working hard to make sure vulnerable people on our streets or otherwise homeless are cared for.

“We are committed to making sure no one has to sleep on the streets by 2020 and will continue to work towards this goal for the good of all.”

St Mungo’s charity chief executive Howard Sinclair said: “These figures are nothing short of a national scandal. These deaths are premature and entirely preventable.”