A TOTAL of 16 people were sleeping rough on the streets of Bournemouth in the latest ‘snapshot’ taken by the council.

Councillors were told at their monthly meeting on Tuesday that the latest street count was taken in November and identified 16 people bedded-down on the streets. In 1997, it was 44.

It came after Cllr Beryl Baxter asked how many people were sleeping rough.

Deputy leader of the council, Cllr Nicola Greene, said it received about 6,000 homeless enquiries a year.

She added: “One particular focus of our Homelessness Strategy is on addressing rough sleeping, which is the most extreme case of homelessness.

“The council funds a rough sleeper team, which is delivered by Crime Reduction Initiatives. Bournemouth also funds a range of accommodation and support options to help people come inside and address their issues to help them move through into settled and independent accommodation.”

She said the number of rough sleepers was “ever-changing” as people came and went from the area.