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Brighton rough sleepers turn to 'homeless camps' for comfort this cold winter

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As temperatures plummeted last night many of the region's rough sleepers turned to emergency shelters, but new Government figures show Brighton's homeless population has dropped dramatically.

The city has gone from having the highest proportion in the country outside London to the 10th highest, the number falling from 178 to 64.

However, concerns have been raised over the growing number of 'homeless camps' in the city centre - while others are disputing the figures.

Watch this report by Andy Dickenson:

This church hall sheltered around 20 men and women last night trying to escape the freezing temperatures.

Brighton's number of rough sleepers has fallen somewhat surprisingly from 178 counted in 2017 to 64 last November.

However, the city sees homeless camps springing up along the seafront and in the high street.

This church hall sheltered around 20 men and women Credit: ITV Meridian

Cllr Claire Moonan Brighton & Hove City Council, Lab:

The council says extra funding for beds and services such as a hub used to move those new to the streets into accommodation quickly are the reason for the drop, but it still describes the amount of vulnerable people in need of help as 'staggering'.

Some of the homeless have been sleeping in converted buses and while numbers have gone down, official figures can't be directly compared because of different methods of counting.

However the council says the flow of homeless coming onto the streets remains constant.

Jim Deans, Sussex Homeless Trust: Brian, Rough sleeper:

Most of the time we can give people shelter but obviously what a rough sleeper wants is a permanent home and that's a much bigger piece of work. We are not meeting the demand in fact in this city and across the whole of England because we have a homelessness crisis.

– Cllr Claire Moonan Brighton & Hove City Council, Lab

With cold nights ahead, the message remains that services are stretched and anyone without accommodation is urged not to come to the city.