Thanet council activates emergency protocol for those sleeping rough due to below zero forecast

Rough sleeping in Thanet Photo Frank Leppard

Thanet council has activated its Severe Weather Emergency protocol (SWEP) due to overnight temperatures of below zero forecast for next three nights.

The action is triggered when the night time temperature is predicted to be zero degrees Celsius or below for three consecutive nights.

When the protocol is triggered, the council provide emergency accommodation for any person sleeping rough in the district to prevent unnecessary deaths.

SWEP should be implemented on the first night of the severe weather forecast and means the authority will work in partnership with the voluntary sector, using homelessness grants and council funds to ensure  rough sleepers are provided with shelter.

A council alert for the SWEP action says: “The Met Office has forecast overnight temperatures of below zero for the next three nights. We will therefore be activating Thanet’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) from tonight (Friday 17 January).

“Our SWEP policy aims to ensure the safety and wellbeing of anybody we believe to be rough sleeping. We are working closely with the RISE rough sleeping outreach team to ensure that any people that we know are rough sleepers are proactively contacted and offered a warm place to stay during this cold snap.

“If you know or meet anyone who will be sleeping rough during this time that we might not be aware of please call 01843 577000. This number also operates out of hours.”