Over 4,000 people have been sleeping rough on England’s streets every night, according to figures released today by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

For the first time, the published figures include details of gender, age and nationality.

Timeline for Crisis

Of the total 4,134 rough sleepers in 2016, the majority — 714 — were from Europe, 509 were female and 288 were under 25.

More than half of councils in England saw a rise in rough sleeping, which stands at a six-year high.

“Behind these statistics are thousands of desperate people, sleeping in doorways, bin shelters, stations and parks – anywhere they can find to stay safe and escape the elements,” said Jon Sparkes, the chief executive of Crisis, the UK-based charity for homeless people.

“Rough sleeping ruins lives, leaving people vulnerable to violence and abuse, and taking a dreadful toll on their mental and physical health. Our recent research has shown how rough sleepers are 17 times more likely to be victims of violence. This is no way for anyone to live.”

Graeme Brown, the CEO at Shelter, a UK-based housing and homelessness charity, said that the government should be doing more to help those living on the streets:

“The lack of affordable homes coupled with cuts to welfare have led us to this tragic situation. Until the government provides more homes that people on low incomes can actually afford to live in, the problem will only get worse.”

Many others, including the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, took to Twitter to attack the government for not doing enough to tackle widespread homelessness across the country, while spending billions on foreign aid.

The government said that plans are in place to invest £550m to reduce homelessness.

The report on the Homelessness Reduction Bill, proposed by Conservative MP Bob Blackman will be heard in the Commons on Friday.