THE number of people sleeping on the streets of Oxford has fallen dramatically, latest figures show.

Oxford City Council found 25 people sleeping rough in the city during its latest street count, in January – a substantial reduction from the 43 people reported on its precious count in November.

The council carries out street counts every two months.

The January figures show the number of homeless people on the streets in Oxford has more than halved since September when 51 people were counted – the second highest number on record after the 61 people counted in November 2017.

Oxford city councillor Linda Smith, deputy leader and cabinet member for leisure and housing, said: “We counted 25 people experiencing rough sleeping in January and this means that we’re counting half the number of people we did in September.

“We still have a long way to go to meet our ambition that nobody should have to sleep rough in Oxford and we’re increasing our investment in preventing homelessness to £7.4 m in 2020/21.

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“New services and the opening of our assessment hub and shelter in Floyds Row are already delivering results in tackling the rough sleeping crisis on our streets, but there’s no room for complacency.

“Street counts only offer a snapshot of the number of people experiencing rough sleeping on one night and we know this is not the full picture.”

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The last time there were fewer people counted sleeping rough than in January, was in August 2015, when there were 22 rough sleepers.

Floyds Row is the centrepiece of the council’s transformation programme and is open all year round, and provides access to onsite support for drug and alcohol dependency.

It will open fully in April and at full capacity, will shelter up to 56 people.