Brent Council said it will continue its campaign to eradicate homelessness after three rough sleepers in the borough died last year.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed three homeless people died in Brent across 2018.

This was up from zero in 2017 but the council insists it is doing all it can to tackle the issue of rough sleeping in the region.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, responsible for housing and welfare reform at Brent Council, said: “It is desperately sad and an utter scandal that three people died on Brent streets during 2018.

“Our absolute priority is to end rough sleeping, ideally by offering support early enough to stop it happening in the first place.

“But for anyone who finds themselves sleeping rough, we provide year-round support, including through partnership schemes with [homeless charity] St Mungo’s.”

She added it will continue to fund new initiatives in the borough, such as council-run accommodation dedicated for rough sleepers and the shelter at its Willesden Green hub.

There is also the ‘Shelter for Sanctuary’ – a faith-based community scheme housing rough sleepers in the coldest winter months.

Cllr Southwood reminded people that there is a dedicated mental health worker who provides support through the council’s ‘single homeless prevention service’.

And she urged people to take part in the council’s consultation on tackling homelessness in Brent, which runs until November 25.

Westminster had the highest number of homeless deaths in London in 2018 with 13.

Several local authorities in the capital, including Harrow, did not record any homeless deaths last year.

Homeless charities criticised the overall rise in the number of homeless deaths in England and Wales, with 2018 experiencing a 22 per cent increase.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, called on councils to focus their attentions on supporting the housing market with more affordable properties.

She said: “This is a moment to pause and reflect on what matters to us as a society. These tragic deaths are the consequence of a housing system that is failing too many of our fellow citizens.

“We desperately need to set a new course, and to do that we need urgent action.

“You can’t solve homelessness without homes, so we are calling on all parties to commit to building the social homes we need to form the bedrock of a more humane housing system.”