HC Deb 29 June 1972 vol 839 cc1644-5
11. Mr. Greville Janner

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many homeless people were prosecuted for vagrancy or for other similar offences in 1961 and 1971.

Mr. Carlisle

I regret that this information is not available. The number of persons prosecuted for "sleeping rough" under Section 4 of the Vagrancy Act, 1824, was 950 in 1961 and 401 in 1971.

Mr. Janner

Does the hon. and learned Gentleman agree with the view expressed in The Timestoday by John Snow, director of the New Horizon Youth Centre, that it is wrong to stigmatise many of the young homeless as mere vagrants, drifters or drop-outs and that they need care and concern and, above all, homes? What do the Government propose to do about it?

Mr. Carlisle

As the hon. and learned Gentleman probably knows, the law of vagrancy and street offences is under review by the Department. Housing for the homeless is a matter for my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for the Environment and the Secretary of State for Social Services, to whom questions on it should be addressed.