Busy Birmingham roundabout where homeless people live in tents

Busy Birmingham roundabout where homeless people live in tents surrounded by mountains of rubbish and used needles – but the council insists it is deserted

  • Busy roundabout in Birmingham was covered with tents, litter and needles
  • Birmingham City Council says it visits the area several times each week 

This is the busy Birmingham roundabout the council insists is ‘deserted’ – despite evidence of homeless people living in tents surrounded by mountains of rubbish and used needles. 

Heartbreaking footage shows the ground littered with discarded clothes, a tent strung up over the railings, abandoned belongings, old receipts and what appeared to be sleeping bags.

Meanwhile, car horns from drivers were heard honking in the background of the clips, suggesting that the area lies close to a busy part of the Midlands city. 

But Birmingham City Council chiefs say they had not found anyone to be rough sleeping in the area, despite carrying out multiple inspections. 

There was evidence of tents, needles, mattresses and children’s toys. 

A tent sits underneath a tarpaulin draped over some fencing in the centre of a roundabout in Birmingham. But council inspectors say they have not found anyone living there

The tent and its makeshift gazebo have been secured to nearby trees and fencing with string, suggesting they are being used as sleeping quarters

Clothing and bags lie among the discarded rubbish on the busy roundabout, understood to sit on the edge of Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone

Brightly coloured syringes are seen among older, decomposed piles of rubbish

Soundtracked to the rumble of nearby traffic, video taken by the paper shows a tent sitting beneath a heavy tarpaulin that is draped over fencing, presumably acting as a cover from the rain.

The tarpaulin has been secured to nearby trees and branches to keep it taut.

READ MORE: How Britain’s premier shopping destination is gripped by homeless crisis: Doorways of Oxford Street stores are taken over by boxes and sleeping bags as number of rough sleepers rises 

Bags, a suitcase, a discarded foldaway bed and a relatively spotless mirror sit just outside the sleeping quarters.

Cars are heard tooting their horns from beyond the barrier of trees sheltering the hideaway from view.

Discarded clothing, cups and brightly coloured syringes can be seen amongst older, decomposed rubbish, while the local paper also claims to have found children’s toys.

The exact location has not been disclosed but it is described as a ‘leafy setting’ and ‘one of the busiest [traffic] islands in the city’.

The Birmingham Mail claims that it was first sent information about the roundabout last month – and that the tent and the tarpaulin were not present in images sent in at the time by a concerned local. 

And a Tesco receipt dated August 9 was found amongst the detritus, further suggesting that the roundabout is being inhabited presently.

Local activists have expressed concern for those living in the makeshift camp.

One said: ‘Apart from the health impact of living at the cut-off point for the Clean Air Zone, where pollution levels are at their highest in the city, these homeless people are at risk from rat bites, unsanitary conditions and being attacked by people.

‘The social isolation some of them feel can impact on their mental health as well as their physical health. 

‘Having candles to provide light at night, and using open fires for warmth in winter, can lead to their camps catching fire and causing them severe burns.

‘In a society that claims it cares for people, there is a vulnerable community that exists that many choose to ignore. 

‘Amongst this community are a significant number of vulnerable women dependant on drugs and alcohol to get them through the harsh realities of their daily lives.

‘No one should be homeless, and no one should be excluded from the health and social care services that they need.’

A suitcase, a discarded fold-up bed and even a relatively spotless mirror sit outside the tent

The makeshift campsite sits within the leafy foliage of the Birmingham roundabout. It would not be immediately apparent from the outside that anyone lives here

A Tesco receipt dated August 9 suggests that the site has been recently inhabited

Previous images suggested that the tent and tarpaulin were not present at the site a month ago

Despite this, Birmingham City Council says it has not found anyone to be rough sleeping at the roundabout.

A spokesperson for the authority told MailOnline: ‘We are aware of the location and outreach visit several times per week.

‘They have not found anyone rough sleeping but will continue to visit this week.’ 

In February this year, data released by Birmingham City Council revealed more than 600 households a week are seeking help because they are on the verge of becoming homeless. 

Before the pandemic the number of applications was below 400 each week. 

More than 22,000 households in the city were waiting for a home to be allocated to them as of earlier this year. 

The city has responded by opening new temporary premises to divert people away from bed and breakfasts or hotels.

Statistics published by the Home Office last month suggest that more than 83,000 households in England were assessed as ‘homeless or threatened with homelessness’ between January and March this year – up 5.7 per cent on the same period in 2022.

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