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Thermal imaging, high-powered torches track Cumbria homeless

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Thermal imaging, high-powered torches track Cumbria homeless

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing

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Thermal imaging and high-powered torches have been used by the Cumbria fire brigade to track rough sleepers in Kendal and give them a useful information pack.

Areas searched included the back of Asda Supermarket.

"We were able to use our thermal imaging cameras and high-powered torches to help to survey some identified hot spot areas where it is known people have been rough sleeping in the past," said Steve Healey, from the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.

One person was found sleeping rough.

South Lakeland District Council joined forces with the fire service, Cumbria Constabulary, and the North West Ambulance Service to spend the night helping those sleeping rough.

Three teams searched locations in and around Kendal. If someone was found sleeping rough they were given an information pack outlining the help available to them and how to go about accessing it. 

"Finding just one person sleeping rough was considered a real success, though finding even one person living rough in the area is one person too many,” said Charlie Anderson, SLDC’s Principal Housing Solutions Officer. "We will be able to accommodate anyone sleeping rough if only they approach us." 

SLDC deputy leader Clare Feeney-Johnson, part of the search teams, said “it was a bitterly cold night.”

He added: "It gave you an idea of how hard it must be if you end up on the streets. We were all lucky because we could go home after the search but there are people who face this night after night."

The searches are expected to be extended to other parts of South Lakeland. The initiative forms part of the Nationwide No Second Night Out scheme that aims to prevent and tackle rough sleeping amongst single people. 

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