A Torbay Council spokesperson said: “Torbay Council and the Police have been very clear from the outset of this campaign that the actions taken to identify individuals and publish information as to whether or not they are genuinely homeless is unacceptable, reckless and dangerous.

“We have substantial concerns as to the consequences of the ‘Fake Homeless’ campaign and given the Council’s knowledge regarding the individuals affected and their personal circumstances we can state that information which has been published is incorrect.

Torbay Council and the Police strongly advised against the publication of information as part of this campaign and we are very clear that the information which has been produced and published for this campaign is a clear breach of Data Protection Law. This includes the means through which individuals have been identified as well as the publication of this information. Therefore, the Council is taking further action to bring this to campaign to the attention of the relevant authorities.

It is important for the public to be aware that an individual’s circumstances can frequently change, sometimes on a daily basis, meaning that being able to make a judgement on whether someone is street homeless or not is in many cases a fact that will remain accurate for only a very limited period of time.

Torbay Council, along with our partners, takes our responsibility towards supporting vulnerable members of the community very seriously. We work in partnership with a range of organisations as part of the Torbay End Street Homelessness (TESH) campaign.

With our partners we carry out a range activities including locating and providing a warm and safe place for rough sleepers to sleep, providing additional accommodation over the winter period, continued support and housing advice to try and prevent the cycle of homelessness, and addressing a range of complex issues which often accompany homelessness.”

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