Extra measures to bring rough sleepers inside for cold snap

Predicted freezing weather has prompted Exeter City Council to introduce extra measures to bring rough sleepers inside.

Exeter City Council is to activate its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) this week, starting on Tuesday night and running up until next Monday 4 December, after the Met Office forecast cold overnight conditions.

The SWEP is set to stop next Monday (4 December). However the Council will keep an eye on weather forecasts and review the policy if needed.

The Protocol makes extra emergency accommodation available to rough sleepers.

Cllr Martin Pearce, Lead Councillor for Communities and Homelessness Prevention, said: “Every night that someone is forced to sleep rough on our streets puts them at risk, with the severe cold weather we are set to experience over the next few nights this risk increases.

“To try and reduce the chance of harm, additional emergency bed spaces will be provided during this cold spell. My thanks go out to all those working in the homelessness prevention teams, without their sound planning and swift action these emergency beds would not be available.”

The Council is reminding members of the public that they can report someone they believe to be rough sleeping to Streetlink at https://www.streetlink.org.uk/

The SWEP means that individuals confirmed by the outreach service – working with other local homelessness partner agencies - as sleeping rough in the city, will be contacted and offered the opportunity to come indoors during this spell of cold weather, where spaces are available.

The Council works hard with partners in the city to make extra accommodation available during particularly cold weather.

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