Centrepoint’s recent report “Escaping the Trap” documents the considerable overlap between involvement in criminal activity and housing instability. Will the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime ensure the Metropolitan Police take a greater role in responding to homelessness, initially by introducing a “commitment to refer” people experiencing, or at risk, of homelessness to their local authority for support?
The duty to refer as stated in the Homeless Reduction Act 2017 does not require the police to make a commitment. The duty to refer is a government policy and MOPAC do not have a role in ensuring the police have a statutory duty. The role of the police is to investigate and respond to criminality associated with homelessness and support partner agencies including local authorities and social care who are better suited to provide the support that these vulnerable people need.