Vagrancy report shows why we need to scrap the Act

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran will today [19/06/19] urge the Government to repeal the Vagrancy Act at the launch of Crisis’ report into the case for repealing.

The MP for Oxford West and Abingdon held a debate in the House of Commons in January on her campaign to repeal the Vagrancy Act, which criminalises rough sleeping in England and Wales. Ms Moran also introduced a Bill to repeal it in February 2018.

The report says that the Act “does not tackle the problems people have, and there is evidence that it can also push people further from the help they need.”

Speaking ahead of the launch, Layla Moran MP said:

“I absolutely welcome the publication of this report. You can’t ignore the evidence and it is clear that the Government needs to repeal the Dickensian Vagrancy Act. It is making many people’s situation even worse.

“Now is the time to act. I will not stop campaigning until we have scrapped this cruel law and we take a more compassionate approach to the homelessness crisis we are facing in this country.

“Almost 600 homeless people died on our streets in 2017 alone. We need to end this ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude that the Act promotes and get on with fixing the problem.”

North-East Derbyshire Lib Dem Spokesperson for Housing, Cllr David Hancock, supported the move:

“Homelessness is a growing problem across the country, this is even more frustrating knowing that we have sufficient empty properties to address the problem. so there’s always more that can be done.

“What is absolutely wrong though is penalising people for being homeless. Any civilised society is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable and, on this front, we have failed miserably.

“No-one wants to see people sleeping rough – but criminalising them isn’t the answer.”

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