Thanet council activates severe weather measures for rough sleepers

Rough sleeping Photo Steven Collis

Thanet council has activated its Severe Weather emergency measures from today (December 6) for the next seven nights to ensure the safety and wellbeing of rough sleepers due to a Met Office warning of snow and ice.

During periods of extreme weather, the council operates a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP). Extreme weather can include any conditions that increase the risk of harm to people who are rough sleeping. This is often, but not exclusively, periods of cold weather or significant rainfall.  When deciding whether to trigger the protocol, the Local Authority must take into consideration local context and weather forecasts.

When the protocol is triggered, the council will promote it on its website and via social media channels that it will provide emergency accommodation for any person sleeping rough in the district so that it can prevent unnecessary deaths due to extreme weather.

The council response aims to ensure the safety and wellbeing of anybody officers believe to be rough sleeping. RISE, the rough sleeping outreach team, is working hard to ensure that any known rough sleepers are proactively offered relief during this cold snap. It is important to note that even when SWEP is in place, some people do still turn down offers of support and we cannot forcefully intervene if someone refuses, but staff will keep trying.

The council works closely with partners including the GAP project, Salvation Army and Porchlight all year round to provide support.

Any known rough sleepers will be offered temporary accommodation and support – call 01843 577277

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