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New rules issued for St. Louis homeless encampments

This screencapture using satellite view in Google Maps shows the homeless encampments along the Mississippi River. (St. Louis Public Radio)

The City of St. Louis has issued new rules for residents of the area's unofficial homeless encampments.

Residents will not be allowed to drink or use drugs, or engage in criminal activity. And they will also have to cooperate with police, fire and the city health department.

St. Louis Department of Human Services director Bill Siedhoff says he doesn't expect enforcement to be a problem:

"I think everybody down there understands that if anybody acts out or does anything it could jeopardize all the encampments. I think with these rules laid out they'll probably be doing more self-policing."

He says the city decided to develop the rules after a fire earlier this month damaged four tents at one of the riverfront encampments.

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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