Emergency bed spaces for people sleeping rough are being
made available across London, in order to prevent deaths during the current
spell of severe cold weather.
Outreach teams, including Thames Reach’s London Street
Rescue Service, Tower Hamlets SORT and Croydon Reach, will be working hard to
find and assist anyone sleeping rough into the extra accommodation being made
available while freezing temperatures persist.
The efforts form part of the Severe Weather Emergency
Protocol (SWEP), which guides local authorities on how to minimise the dangers
to people sleeping rough during cold winter weather.
SWEP is activated when the forecast shows temperatures
dropping to zero or below for three consecutive nights.
Catherine Parsons, Thames Reach’s area director responsible
for outreach work, said: “With the weather being so cold at the moment, it’s
vital we do all we can to get people inside. More beds are being made available
and we’re operating additional outreach shifts.
“The public can help us by reporting the location of anyone
they see sleeping rough to Streetlink.”
If you see
someone sleeping rough, call the Streetlink number on 0300 500 0914 or visit
their website at www.streetlink.org.uk