UK homeless figures: London accounts for 25 per cent of nation's homeless population

London will account for 25 per cent of the UK's homeless population this Christmas, according to new figures.

Research published on Friday by homeless charity Crisis found 6,180 people in the capital were either on the streets or sleeping in tents and public transport.

It came as temperatures plummeted below zero in London this week, with mayor Sadiq Khan announcing the opening of emergency cold weather shelters across the city on Thursday.

In Britain as a whole, the study revealed 24,250 people are facing a homeless Christmas.

A homeless man in central London as the winter freeze hit the capital (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

It shows about 12,300 people are sleeping rough on the streets, while nearly 11,950 are spending their nights in cars, trains, buses or tents.

In England, the numbers have more than doubled since 2012: by 120 per cent.

Crisis chief executive Jon Sparkes said: "This situation simply cannot continue.

“While the Scottish government has taken the first step in announcing a plan to eradicate homelessness, full implementation cannot come soon enough.

A homeless man sleeps on the street in central London (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

"Meanwhile, the governments in England and Wales must step up urgently with their own plans to end this crisis.

"We know homelessness can be ended. Earlier this year we set out the exact government policies that would end homelessness across Britain.

"Our research shows that with these policies in place, homelessness could be ended in just 10 years."

The charity added that aside from obvious risks to physical health, rough sleepers are 17 times more likely to be victims of violence and 15 times more likely to be verbally abused.

Heather Wheeler, the minister for housing and homelessness, said the government has set out “bold” £1.2 billion plans to “tackle all forms of homelessness”.

She claimed: "This is already making a difference through additional bed spaces and support workers and new legislation means people at risk are getting the help they need more quickly.”

Crisis is asking people to donate £28.18 to reserve a place for a homeless person at one of its centres this Christmas. For more information, visit crisis.org.uk/get-involved/reserve-a-place-at-crisis-at-christmas

Read more news of London on our site.

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