The next government should launch an urgent review of benefit sanctions because the current regime is “punitive and flawed”, according to a new report.

Homelessness charity Crisis warned of a “postcode lottery” in the use of sanctions, with differences across the country over the chances of being affected.

The charity published a map of “hotspots” it said showed where people were most likely to be penalised, headed by Richmondshire in Yorkshire (15 Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions per 100 claimants), Test Valley in Hampshire (12) and Southampton (11).

Click on each local authority to see rate of sanctions

Crisis said homeless people may be disproportionately affected by sanctions, with many facing obstacles that make it harder for them to meet conditions of the regime.

Research for Crisis by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University said sanctions could increase people’s risk of becoming homeless.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “Evidence is mounting of a punitive and deeply flawed regime. Sanctions are cruel.”

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