DARLINGTON Borough Council is one of 12 North-East authorities taking part in a project aiming to ensure no one new to the streets has to spend more than one night sleeping rough.

No Second Night Out is working to get rough sleepers off the streets quickly so that they do not fall into a dangerous rough sleeping lifestyle.

People who sleep rough are more likely to die 30 years earlier than an average person of the same age, are more likely to be assaulted, suffer mental health and have substance misuse problems.

Details will be passed to the council, which will then arrange for contact to be made with the rough sleeper to offer the right support.

Anyone found sleeping rough will be assessed quickly and safely and links made with emergency accommodation, other services and family and friends, in this country or elsewhere.

Council leader Bill Dixon said: “There are many reasons why people find themselves sleeping rough on the streets – and many ways in which help can be given to ensure they no longer need to live like this.

“In Darlington we are fortunate that we see little rough sleeping but the impact on those affected can be nothing short of devastating.”

The public and emergency services are being asked to do their bit to help by reporting rough sleepers by calling the new national Streetlink freephone helpline 0300-500-0914 or providing details online at streetlink.org.uk