Oxford

Oxford homeless deaths referred for investigation

Oxford from the air Image copyright Dave Price
Image caption Five homeless people have died in Oxford in recent months

The deaths of five homeless people in Oxford in three months have been referred to an independent body for an investigation.

Oxford City Council has asked the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board to look into whether the deaths could have been prevented.

All five were either sleeping rough or were staying in council-run supported accommodation and died since November.

A decision about whether to investigate will be made at a meeting in March.

  • On 2 December a 37-year-old man died in McDonalds in Cornmarket Street
  • On 6 December a 36-year-old man was found dead in Hythe Bridge Street
  • On 21 January a 44-year-old woman died at rough sleeper accommodation in Botley Road
  • On 29 January a 50-year-old man died at rough sleeper accommodation in Divinity Road
  • On 5 February a man in his sixties was found dead in St Frideswide churchyard

The board is an independent, multi-agency partnership that can investigate whether serious harm experienced by a vulnerable adult was due to abuse or neglect.

Deputy council leader Linda Smith said she shares "the public's sadness and concern" at the recent unexplained deaths.

She said: "We want to establish whether these tragic deaths could have been prevented and to learn any necessary lessons that might help prevent others dying in future."

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