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29th Jun, 2022

Police ready to sleep rough in bid to help homeless

Worcester Editorial 6th Dec, 2013 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

POLICE chiefs in Worcester are set to brave the elements tonight (Friday) in a bid to help the homeless in the city.

Officers will be working with other agencies and charities to hold a fund-raising and awareness-raising ‘sleep out’ which will take place between 9pm and 6am at the Elgar Statue.

West Mercia Probation Trust and outreach workers from St Paul’s charity will all be sleeping outdoors, with nothing more than a sleeping bag and cardboard boxes for comfort.

The event has been organised by officers from the Integrated Offender Management team at Worcester Police Station which aims to divert repeat offenders away from crime.

Det Con Zoey Carter said: “When many of the people we deal with come out of prison the biggest issue they face is housing. Many find they are homeless and return to crime to fund themselves.

“We want to break that cycle of offending, so we work closely with local authorities and homelessness charities to get these people some kind of accommodation and off the streets.

“We organised the sleep out to raise money the for amazing charities we work with, like St Paul’s and the Maggs Day Centre, as well as raise awareness with the public about the problems of homelessness in South Worcestershire.”

Marco Gualano, from the West Mercia Probation Trust, added: “It is probation’s responsibility to supervise offenders when they leave prison, so we work very closely with our police colleagues to try and stop them from re-offending.

“Many of the people we supervise are reliant on the services provided by St Paul’s and the Maggs Day Centre and they used them on a daily basis.

“As such they are a very good cause, so we wanted to do something to support them and raise awareness about the important work they do.”

Ginette Sadler, from St Paul’s, said: “Our outreach team works directly with rough sleepers in view to accessing appropriate and sustainable accommodation.

“The team consists of specialist workers and operates a tailored approach to address the needs of rough sleepers. Funds raised through this event will be very gratefully received.”

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