Revealed: Almost 600 homeless people died in England and Wales last year The scale of homeless deaths across England and Wales has been described as a “national tragedy”, after new figures showed the number has soared by almost a quarter over the last five years.

Around 597 people sleeping rough or in emergency accommodation died last year – while life expectancy is almost half that of people in stable housing, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Her Name Was Lindy: the story of a homeless woman who died on the streets A 32-year-old woman was found dead in a park in the heart of Cardiff. She had been sleeping rough in a tent. This is Lindy Louise Pring’s story, told with the help of those who loved her.

With contacts across the UK, the BIJ documented cases like that of Hamid Farahi, the physicist who lived in a car in Harlow and died alone in emergency accommodation, and Jayne Simpson, a mother of five who struggled with addictions and was filmed by Channel 4 News at a shelter before her death.

Attacks on homeless people triple in just five years Kicked and jumped on in their sleep – the appalling experience of two men sleeping rough in Hull city centre. Humberside Police have released CCTV footage of the incident in the hope of identifying the three people responsible.

The police appeal comes as new figures, given exclusively to this programme, show a significant increase over the last five years in violent crimes against homeless people.

Homeless Britain: Another death on the streets In December, we met Jayne Simpson in Stafford – where a local charity was trying to help rough sleepers through the harsh winter. Despite their best efforts, she was found dead in a doorway in the town centre several months later.

The Office for National Statistics has now revealed that – for the first time – it is also going to start counting the deaths of homeless people in the UK.

The prisoners left homeless after their release “We want to ensure rough sleeping becomes a thing of the past” – the words of the Prime Minister in the House of Commons today.

One group who are at particular risk of ending up on the streets are those being released from prison. Channel 4 News can reveal that around 1,000 people a month were released from prison homeless or to sleep rough. We talk to Seyi Obakin, chief executive of Centrepoint, and Christina Marriott, CEO of the Revolving Doors Agency charity.

How should the drug-dependent homeless be helped? Out in the cold and dependent on drugs. Britain’s second city, Birmingham, is facing a twin crisis: high levels of homelessness and drug use.

The city’s mayor is trying a new strategy, getting people back into housing, before tackling their drug problem. Meanwhile outreach workers are trying to create safe areas, called drug consumption rooms, which have already proved a huge success in Europe.

165% increase in rough sleeping since 2010 The number of rough sleepers has risen in almost every major city across England, especially across the Midlands and the North. 

The government said a slight overall drop last Autumn showed its £100m investment to tackle rough sleeping was beginning to work. But charities pointed out that rough sleeping was still 165% higher than in 2010 and called it a ‘damning reflection on our society.’

The news comes as temperatures fall well below freezing in many places.

Dying homeless on UK streets: counting the true number There is no official record of when, where or how people die homeless in the UK. Channel 4 News and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism are compiling a record to reveal the true number.

More in-depth reports from Channel 4 News