NEW tents have appeared on the seafront – and new eviction notices have been served.

Homeless men and women have now pitched at least seven tents on Hove Lawns.

The first appeared in June and, when a resident complained, the police and city council turfed out five rough sleepers.

Katherine Whittaker, 47, is one of the latest arrivals. She said: “I think people get the wrong idea. Nobody wants to be here, everyone’s trying to integrate with the charities and services and move on. We’re all hoping to get a home.

“I’ve been homeless for three months. I’m a career woman myself but you wouldn’t think it now. What you don’t realise is that it could happen to you.

“Everyone here had lives and jobs before they became homeless. We have to live somewhere.”

Katherine said the spot made her feel safer as a female rough sleeper.

She said: “I don’t see myself as vulnerable. But St Mungo’s have given me a lot of help and I suppose I am really. We get support here – it can be dangerous for a woman out on the streets.

“Nobody should be sleeping rough in this day and age”

Councillor Nichole Brennan, deputy chairwoman of the housing committee, said: “Brighton and Hove City Council does not allow camping on highways or in public areas like Hove Lawns. However homeless people do pitch tents and sleep in areas without permission when they have no other options.

“The law around us moving people on from public highways and other areas is complex. Where someone is not causing an immediate danger we have limited powers and are unable to remove tents immediately. By law we must serve a notice and cannot remove a tent until this notice has expired.

“We have a welfare-first approach for people sleeping rough in our city. When we receive reports of people living in tents, our outreach team will visit to offer support and advice on their accommodation options.

“We need to consider the needs and vulnerabilities of the people living in the tent, the impact they are having on the community, the safety of our staff and any powers available to us to move people away from areas which are unsuitable or unsafe for them or others.

“Each encampment will have its own specific issues and we work with other local agencies including the police, St Mungo’s and Equinox to take appropriate action as soon as we can. We work with partners to support the many vulnerable people who live out on our streets to overcome their complex problems and find the best way to rebuild their lives.”