LONDON (Sputnik) — In recent days, the United Kingdom has been affected by heavy snows, freezing rains and cold weather, with temperatures falling below zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) across the country. On Monday, meteorologists working in Shropshire country registered a drop in temperature to 13 degrees Celsius below zero.
Tasmin Maitland, the head of innovation and good practice at the Homeless Link charity told Sputnik that despite the fact that there was no national system collecting information on the deaths of homeless people, the weather has clearly contributed to the increase in the number of deaths on the streets.
"There are deaths on the streets every year, but it's been a long time since we've had a winter that's been this cold… Unfortunately there is no central way of recording how many people die when sleeping rough. At the moment there is no national data set to indicate how many people die when homeless and how many people die when on the streets, but each year there are deaths and the severe weather is a contributing factor," Maitland said.
Charities like Homeless Link try to support the homeless amid the existing developments but are only aided by the efforts of local authorities — the groups claim that the nation as a whole has not addressed these problems.
"We're seeing some areas doing particular activities to provide protection against the weather, but it is a local response so it does vary from place to place and how much provision there actually is available," Maitland said.
She added that local responses were not enough and stressed the need for a statutory response.