SUPPORT US TO #SCRAPTHEACT
We are proud to stand with Crisis and countless other homeless charities to urge our Government to #ScrapTheAct
Homelessness should not be a crime. But the Vagrancy Act, which goes back to 1824, makes it a crime just to sleep rough or beg in England and Wales.
Caritas Anchor House, Crisis, Homeless Link, Shelter, St Mungo’s and countless other #ScraptheAct campaign supporters are calling for the Vagrancy Act to be scrapped.
The Vagrancy Act does nothing to resolve the root causes of homelessness. In fact, it’s more likely to push someone further from the vital services that help them to move away from the streets.
The Government is soon to review the Vagrancy Act, but hasn’t said that they will repeal it – yet until they do, vulnerable people will continue to be pushed even further from support.
That’s why we’re calling on the UK Government to #ScrapTheAct once and for all. The more people that support the campaign, the louder our voice.
The Vagrancy Act saw 1,320 people prosecuted in England and Wales in the last year alone, criminalising them for not having a safe place to call home. Penalties can carry a fine of up to £1,000 – a sum that many people experiencing homelessness just do not have. Scotland repealed this law in 1982, introducing additional legislation to deal with antisocial and criminal behaviour.
This campaign comes at a time when the government are due to announce the results of the review into the legislation around homelessness and rough sleeping, sparked by calls for laws to be reformed.
Serena, Fundraising and Marketing Officer at Caritas Anchor House, attended Crisis’ Vagrancy Act Report Launch event on 19th June. She said, “It was incredibly moving to hear from those who have experienced enforcement under this outdated act. Caritas Anchor House is proud to support Crisis’ #ScrapTheAct campaign, and we hope our supporters will support it too.”
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said “There are real solutions to resolving people’s homelessness – arrest and prosecution are not among them”.