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Tories slash emergency funding for homeless

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Issue 2705
Homeless support is being withdrawn (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Homeless people across England could be thrown back onto the streets after the Tories cut funding for an emergency scheme.

Councils across England were given £3.2 million in March to provide emergency accommodation for homeless people. Many have been put in hotels and hostels, although many also remained on the streets. 

A leaked report last week said the government has removed funding for the “Everyone In” scheme in Manchester. 

The scheme had put nearly 1,600 homeless people who had nowhere to self-isolate in emergency accommodation.

Homeless charity Crisis said the move was “completely unacceptable”.

Dame Louise Casey, who is responsible for the scheme, claimed that “no one is going to be tipped out”.

Yet one local government official in Manchester said, “Numbers are going to rocket on the streets and that’s before you factor in the effect of the downturn.”

Many people who have lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus crisis have been evicted from their homes after being unable to pay rent.

The leaked report said the scheme to house homeless people in Manchester had meant big improvements to their lives.

Yet it said local authorities are being asked to “focus on ‘step down’ and ‘move on’ for those who have been accommodated”.

It said only people who meet narrow criteria will now have the legal right to accommodation.

Courts drop Coronavirus Act cases

All prosecutions under the new Coronavirus Act have been unlawful, a review has found.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) revealed that all 44 charges it had so far checked had been withdrawn or overturned.

Several cases, including some against children, are ongoing and the number of dropped cases will rise.

The CPS launched a review after several miscarriages of justice emerged.

Six of the people prosecuted were only charged under the Coronavirus Act, while 38 were accused of other offences as well.

Of the 44 wrongful charges, 31 were withdrawn in court and 13 cases are set to go back to court for another hearing. 

Eleven people were charged under the separate Health Protection Regulations instead, which enforce restrictions on movement and gatherings.

More than 14,000 on the spot fines have been handed out since 27 March and there is no mechanism to appeal the fines.

The cops have used the Coronavirus Act repeatedly, including against a 17 year old boy who was found carrying a knife and cannabis in London. 

He pleaded guilty to the offence and is being held in a youth detention centre awaiting sentence. 

A number of homeless people have also been prosecuted.

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