A homelessness charity has slammed comments made by the Home Secretary as “unhelpful” and “ill-informed”.

Brighton charity Off the Fence refuted claims made by Suella Braverman that rough sleeping is a “lifestyle choice” as she announced that she wanted to restrict the use of tents on the streets.

Ms Braverman has come under fire over the policy and her comments with the charity adding they would not be changing how they operate in light of the statement.

Reverend Julio Abraham, the new chief executive of Off the Fence, said: “The Home Secretary’s comment on the use of tents and the provision of them by charities is unhelpful. It is also ill-informed.

The Argus: Reverend Julio AbrahamReverend Julio Abraham (Image: Off the Fence)

“In common with every other homeless charity in the UK, I reject the implication that people on the streets occupy tents as a lifestyle choice or for economic gain. This is not our experience in Brighton & Hove, or elsewhere.

“It may prevent vulnerable rough sleepers from getting the help they need. Last year over 30 people died on our city streets due to ill health caused by exposure to the elements.”

A spokesman for the charity also criticised Ms Braverman adding that the comments may have a psychological impact on those forced to live on the streets.


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The Home Secretary said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the government “cannot allow our streets to be taken over by rows of tents occupied by people, many of them from abroad, living on the streets as a lifestyle choice”.

New plans mooted by the Home Office would see penalties for those sleeping in tents “who cause nuisance” and could fine charities who hand out tents.

The Argus: Off the Fence's Big Sleep Out in 2022Off the Fence's Big Sleep Out in 2022 (Image: Off the fence)

Off the Fence says that it primarily supplies sleeping bags rather than tents but added that it would not be changing any of its practices in light of the comments.

The charity is currently planning its Big Sleep Out near St Peter’s Church in Brighton this weekend.

Supporters of the charity are raising money through sponsorship and will sleep rough for a night in support of the homeless community.

The Home Office was approached for comment.