Maeve McClenaghan ~ A Hundred Homeless People Have Died Since October But No-One Is Asking Why
It has been almost two years since Cardon Banfield’s partially-mummified body was found in a tent, just metres from a public footpath in Worcester.
The homeless 74 year-old, who settled in the UK from the Caribbean in 1961, part of the Windrush generation, was so badly decomposed that the coroner was only able to identify him through DNA testing.
In the intervening years, campaigners and local charities have pushed for an official review into how an elderly man came to such an ignominious end. But despite public pressure, the local Safeguarding Adults Board – the body tasked with exploring possible social care failures – refused to do an official review.
This week Worcester City council published an informal review into Banfield’s death. Now, those that called for the review say it fails to fully address the issues and are calling again for an official review.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal that homeless deaths are hardly ever reviewed in England and Wales, with, on average, just one official review a year being logged since 2010.
With no official count of deaths and very few reviews being commissioned, experts are concerned that officials simply do not know how and when homeless people are dying.
In this climate, the Bureau has launched Dying Homeless, a project to record deaths on UK streets.