Canterbury City Council activate Severe Weather Emergency Protocol.

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With the ‘mini beast from the east’ set to arrive later today, Canterbury City Council have now activated our Severe Weather Emergency Protocol. It is likely to be in place until Monday.

Canterbury City Council have activated the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) which is activated when the weather forecast shows the temperature is set to drop to 0 degrees centigrade or below for at least three consecutive days.

Consideration is also given to implementing SWEP when exceptionally cold or inclement weather is forecast that falls short of this definition.

SWEP involves them working with partner organisations including Porchlight, Catching Lives and Street Pastors, to react to reports of a rough sleeper by offering the person support in the form of accommodation such as bed and breakfast or temporary housing.

When contacting them, Severe Weather Emergency Protocol please provide as much information as possible about the location of the individual you are calling about.

It is important to note that even when SWEP is in place, they cannot forcefully intervene to provide an individual with support. Many people refuse help and this is their right.

Therefore, should you contact CCC about a rough sleeper, you should not necessarily expect to see that individual removed and placed into accommodation. This is not because the authorities have failed to react to your report, but because the individual has declined support.

They work very closely with our partners all year round on homelessness issues. They know many of the rough sleepers and where they will be, and know that some of these individuals do not want to engage in any housing intervention offered.

To let them know about a rough sleeper who you believe is in need of assistance, please call Catching Lives during the daytime on 01227 464904. Out of office hours, call the control room on 01227 781879, which is open 24/7.

During the last activation period, between 23 February and 7 March, 43 individuals accessed accommodation for a total of 256 nights.

To find out more about SWEP and how it operates, go to www2.canterbury.gov.uk/swep

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