Homeless in NI arrested more than 50 times a year for sleeping rough or begging

The Vagrancy Act 1824 makes it an offence to sleep rough or beg

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Homeless people were arrested more than 50 times in a year for sleeping rough or begging in Northern Ireland.


The Police Service of Northern Ireland made a total of 258 arrests under the Vagrancy Act between 2014 and 2018, according to a Freedom of Information request by homelessness charity Crisis.


Generally, the number of arrests have been fairly consistent each year - there were 55 in 2014, falling to a low of 35 in 2015, rising to a peak of 63 in 2016, with 60 arrests in 2018.


The Vagrancy Act 1824 makes it an offence to sleep rough or beg. It was originally brought in to make it easier for the police to clear the streets of destitute soldiers following the Napoleonic Wars.


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