POOLE residents concerned about people sleeping rough in the town this winter are being urged to contact a hotline number to help them get off the street.

Borough of Poole is asking its residents to call Streetlink in 0300 5000 914 to ensure it can offers its services to those in need.

A count last month revealed 10 people were sleeping rough in Poole.

Anyone can be at risk of becoming homeless and sleeping rough can be dangerous and damaging to health. The longer someone sleeps on the streets the greater the risk they will become trapped there and vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime, developing drug or alcohol problems or experiencing health problems.

"We take the hardship faced by rough sleepers, particularly during the cold weather, very seriously and have a dedicated provision in place to help provide support and shelter where ever possible," said Cllr Karen Rampton, cabinet portfolio holder for housing, Borough of Poole.

"If you are concerned about anyone sleeping rough then please contact Streetlink on 0300 5000 914 and help to connect that person with the local services available."

Streetlink is funded by government as part of its commitment to end rough sleeping. It offers the public the means to help when they see someone on the streets and provides a first step to ensure they are connected to local services and support. All they need to do is call the number and give some details about the person.

The Bournemouth and Poole Rough Sleepers Team is managed by Crime Reduction Initiatives on behalf of both local authorities.

The team works with all people sleeping rough in Poole to access appropriate support, make positive lifestyle changes and leave the street. They provide street outreach six days a week and deliver a day centre in Poole each weekday. They aim to help all rough sleepers access secure accommodation and lead safer and healthier lives.

As well as the Streetlink hotline number, there is a smartphone app to download or the ‘Report It’ function on poole.gov.uk can be used to report concerns for a rough sleeper.