Friday, 24 May 2024

‘I’m an Army veteran living on streets – drunks pee on us and film it for sport’

A British Army veteran has spoken about his life living on the streets avoiding drunks who pee on rough sleepers.

Former soldier Mark Smith, 52, served in Iraq and the Middle East protecting lives abroad and back home.

But now he lives on the streets of London as the number of homeless people in the capital surges, reports MyLondon.

Mark said: “Living on the street is terrible, and it’s been even more horrible recently.

“For ordinary people the cost of living goes up by 10 percent, but it’s more like 100 percent for homeless people.

“With prices around here it’s very hard just to feed yourself.”

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Mark has been rough sleeping in central London since breaking up with his ex-partner in 2019.

After serving in the British Army he returned to life as a civilian in 1995.

Mark says that homeless people can be treated with disdain, recounting one disturbing incident where other rough sleepers were peed on.

He said: “I don’t sleep on the main roads but sometimes you have to when it’s raining heavily to find shelter.

“People mainly leave you alone but drunk people can often cause problems, as when you’re annoyed at them they think it’s funny.

“I caught some guys pissing on a homeless man in his sleeping bag. I made a point to them and said ‘what if that was you and I’d done that’.

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“One of them was recording it too to post it online.”

Rough sleeping increased by nine percent in the past year according to the London Assembly.

There were 3,172 rough sleepers in the capital between April and June this year which is up from 2,998 individuals recorded during the same period in 2022.

The rise has been attributed to the cost of living crisis and an increase in rental prices. The Army veteran says that being treated this way is “degrading”.

He added: “People living around here don’t know how hard it is on the streets. They just moan about having to pay proper council tax on their spare bedroom.

“There’s so much money around here, but none of it is being spent on fixing the homeless problem.”

Express.co.uk has approached the Mayor of London for a comment.

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