Enfield had the third-highest number of rough sleepers in outer London last year, new figures show.

There were 21 people recorded as sleeping rough in the borough on one night in August last year, with only Ealing and Kingston-upon-Thames in outer London having higher numbers at that time.

The number was recorded as an estimate by Enfield Council but has now been published as part of a government data release comparing different local authority areas.

In a similar count made the previous year, there were 19 people estimated to be sleeping rough in Enfield.

The government figures show rough sleeping in England as a whole fell by 9 per cent compared to 2020 but remained 38 per cent higher than in 2010, when the data started being collected.

In March 2020, the government launched its ‘everyone in’ programme calling on local authorities to house people sleeping rough to protect their health and help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

It subsequently pledged £150million to provide 3,300 new homes for rough sleepers in an effort to stop those who were housed during the pandemic from returning to the streets.

In October 2020, Enfield Council was awarded more than £9m by the Greater London Authority to build 73 homes for former rough sleepers across three different schemes.

A spokesperson for Enfield Council said its homeless service has visited, housed and supported more than 500 rough sleepers since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They added: "Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of new rough sleepers on the streets of Enfield. However, as a result of the initiatives we have rolled out to end rough sleeping, we have seen a significant and consistent fall in the number of rough sleepers found bedded down any typical night, from 78 counted in November 2018 to seven in January 2022.

"Our housing plan will help to create a sustainable pathway for rough sleepers back into the wider community. It will increase the provision of supported housing for rough sleepers and connect residents with the services they need to sustain their housing."

Osama Bhutta, director of campaigns at housing charity Shelter, has warned there was a "real danger" that more people would be "faced with the streets" as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.