BOURNEMOUTH council's rough sleeper team has refused to go onto the new 'Occupy' site due to "numerous risk factors".

Last month a group of rough sleepers and activists from Occupy Bournemouth took up residence on private land opposite the Bournemouth International Centre, before they were evicted by bailiffs earlier this month.

The camp has since relocated to the coal yard site by the former Boscombe Railway Station.

At a full council meeting on Tuesday, resident Amy Ebborn said she had been "helping out at the Occupy Sanctuary" over the past two weeks and when a council rough sleepers team had come by and been invited onto the site they had declined.

"We would like to know how the charities set up by the council and promoted by the council, how they are meant to help the people who need the help if they won't go into the places where people feel safe," she said.

She said one rough sleeper had told her they did not want to leave the site to talk to the team about their issues as children were walking home from school at the time, and they did not wish to be "paraded like an animal".

"I have been there and heard them, they're lovely people," she said.

"They are in a place they feel safe, it is all they have got, if people won't go in there's not much they can really do."

But Councillor Robert Lawton, cabinet member for housing, said council outreach team St Mungo's carried out its own risk assessments without council oversight.

"As with all professionals working on an outreach basis in communities, workers will constantly undertake dynamic risk assessments - in layman's terms that is a health and safety assessment - to assess and minimise risk to their workers," he said.

"The most recent risk assessment carried out on the site by St Mungo's came to the conclusion that the site was unsafe for numerous risk factors, and I don't know what they are. You would need to ask St Mungo's why they decided not to go there.

"The team nonetheless continue to outreach the site and it has been confirmed they will offer support to anyone on site through regular visits to the site entrance, they won't go on site.

"They will engage with rough sleepers off site at alternative close venues, where they can have confidential, detailed and conductive discussion on a one-to-one basis."