Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have shared their experiences of working with rough sleepers at a recent conference.

'Reconnections: Homelessness and EU Nationals' hosted by Crime Reduction Initiatives, Thames Reach and Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) was aimed at highlighting the issues around rough sleepers from European Union countries who are homeless in the UK.

Staffordshire fire and Rescue Service and local partners were recognised as Rough Sleeping Champions by DCLG in 2009 and so were asked to present and assist with a workshop at the conference.

Watch Manager, Mick Warrilow, who presented at the conference, said: "The issue of rough sleepers has been a key area of work for us since 2006, due to the hike in the number of disused and derelict commercial buildings. However it was the death of two homeless people in 2007 in one of these very buildings that acted as a catalyst for our partners. Since then we have developed a partnership approach which involves us working alongside outreach workers to identify where rough sleepers are and also enforcement work with building owners so they are aware of their responsibilities in relation to health and safety.

"The presentation was very well received and we've already had requests for further information from other fire and rescue services and local authorities."

Delegates at the conference included representatives from more than 50 local authorities as well as police forces, charities, housing associations and several embassies from EU countries, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe.

For more information about the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service's approach to rough sleepers contact Watch Manager, Mick Warrilow on 01785 898902.

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Posted May 4th, 2012 at 1610 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: