AN archaic law that makes rough sleeping illegal is being challenged by Liberal Democrat Layla Moran.

The Oxford West and Abingdon MP called for the Dickensian Vagrancy Act to be scrapped in a debate on homelessness in the House of Commons yesterday.

The MP highlighted new statistics released from Crisis, which reveal that a majority of people – 71 per cent – think that arresting people for sleeping rough is a waste of police time, with over half stating that rough sleeping should not be considered a crime at all.

Ms Moran introduced a Bill to repeal the 1824 law that makes rough sleeping a criminal offence and said that the draft legislation 'can be brought back in a heartbeat with this Government's support'.

The Liberal Democrats MP added: "Even one person sleeping rough in this country in 2020 is a disgrace.

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"We need to be taking a more compassionate and holistic approach to tackling this crisis.

"And the Vagrancy Act, a Dickensian law from 1824 that criminalises rough sleeping, represents the first hurdle on that journey."

She also addressed the Speaker saying: "I know the Secretary of State is keen to make his mark, and I’d like to think we’re offering him a golden opportunity to do so."

It was only last week that the homeless community in Oxford shamed a ‘spiteful’ vigilante who drilled two additional armrests onto a bench to stop people sleeping there.

The concept also known as hostile architecture – a design strategy to stop anti-social behaviour, including rough sleeping – usually target people who rely on public spaces more.

One man who lives on the streets Jason Dart said: “We are really stigmatised; we are judged for being homeless."