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Homeless man who fell asleep in a bin seriously injured after being tipped into a refuse truck

A homeless[1] man was seriously injured after he was accidentally tipped into the back of a refuse truck. The man, who had been sheltering in an industrial sized dumpster, was taken to hospital with a broken leg and pelvis after becoming trapped in the vehicle. Waste firm Veolia, whose staff were emptying the bin in Rochester, Kent described the incident as “distressing” and explained that its crews had not seen the man as he was hidden beneath carpet.

“As soon as the team were aware that the incident had taken place they immediately halted operations, called the emergency services and supported him until an ambulance attended the scene and took him to hospital for treatment,” a spokesman said. The local authority, Conservative-controlled Medway Council, insists it is stepping up efforts to find accommodation for those on the streets. Spokesman Celia Glynn-Williams said: “We do a huge amount to help homeless people in the district.

Two winter shelters have been operating, providing 28 beds for rough sleepers and year-round advice is available.” But Labour councillor Andy Stamp said the incident was “shocking” and “should never have taken place”. “Our thoughts are with both the citizen involved as well as the refuse staff who clearly will be devastated at what has happened,” he said.

I hope urgent lessons are learnt to ensure nobody is placed in such a situation again.”

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The Government is preparing to implement its Homelessness Reduction Act in April following a 65 per cent increase in homelessness since 2010. Billed as “the most ambitious legislative reform in decades”, the Act is designed to cut the number of people finding themselves on the streets by extending powers to local authorities to provide early support to those facing loss of accommodation. Homeless charity Shelter[2] welcomed measures to reduce street sleeping, which it said had become a “national crisis”, and called for more houses to be built.

Its chief executive Polly Neate said: “A chronic lack of genuinely affordable homes, combined with soaring rents and cuts to welfare, mean more and more people are becoming homeless. “The Homelessness Reduction Act alone cannot be expected to solve the root causes of these problems, which must also be addressed. The government must tackle the causes of the crisis by building many more homes which are genuinely affordable for ordinary people to rent.”

Last week Simon Dudley, the leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, provoked anger when he asked police to clear the area of homeless people ahead of the royal wedding[3] between Prince Harry[4] and Meghan Markle[5] in May.


  1. ^ homeless (www.independent.co.uk)
  2. ^ Shelter (www.independent.co.uk)
  3. ^ police to clear the area of homeless people ahead of the royal wedding (www.independent.co.uk)
  4. ^ Prince Harry (www.independent.co.uk)
  5. ^ Meghan Markle (www.independent.co.uk)

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