13/12/2018 11:04 GMT

Homeless Man Hurt After His Tent Was Deliberately Set On Fire

Police are looking for the culprit.

MSPhotographic via Getty Images
The man's tent was set on fire in a busy shopping district (file picture) 

A homeless man has been left with burns after his tent was set on fire in a busy shopping district.

The man – who has not been named – was hurt in Cardiff on Monday and was taken to hospital for treatment for a hand injury.

South Wales Police are investigating the incident in Queen Street as criminal damage and are making inquiries.

A spokeswoman said: “At around 1.30pm on Monday, officers on patrol in Cardiff city centre received information about criminal damage to a tent in Queen Street.

“One man suffered a minor hand injury, which required hospital treatment, and inquiries are being made to identify the person responsible.”

A spokesman for the Welsh Ambulance Service confirmed its staff responded to the incident and took the man to the University Hospital of Wales.

Matt Downie, director of policy and external affairs at homelessness charity Crisis, said: “For anyone sleeping on the street, life can be a struggle just to survive. Rough sleepers are 17 times more likely to be victims of violence and 15 times more likely to suffer abuse.

“Perhaps equally troubling, our research shows 53% of abuse and violence against rough sleepers goes unreported to the police, mainly due to the expectation that nothing will be done.

“With at least 9,000 people across Britain sleeping rough this winter, and thousands more hidden in cars, tents and on public transport, significant action can’t come soon enough.”

Downie said victims of such abuse should feel able to report attacks to authorities and ask for support.

“But ultimately, they must also be given the dedicated help they need to leave the streets behind for good,” he added.

Cardiff Council said members of its homelessness outreach team had accompanied the man to hospital for treatment, and would continue to encourage homeless people to use shelter and hostel accommodation available in the city.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “We’re appealing to all those who sleep out at night to come into the wide range of accommodation in the city and begin using the services that can help move them away from life on the streets.”