Severe Weather Emergency Protocol Update
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has activated the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) for the first time this winter
This week, 27 November – 1 December, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan activated the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) for the first time this winter, instructing councils across the capital to provide extra shelter for people sleeping rough. This decision comes as temperatures dropped below zero degrees, posing increased risks to those sleeping rough on the streets.
In response, our outreach teams have been actively working to ensure that everyone has a place to stay away from the freezing temperatures.
“We encourage members of the public to make referrals of anyone they see sleeping rough to Streetlink, who contact our outreach teams directly and quickly. During SWEP we put out additional outreach shifts, so that anticipated increased demand can be met.”
– Thames Reach Director of Services
As we navigate through the winter, we will continue to find the fastest routes away from the streets for the people we support, prioritising safety during extreme weather conditions.
It is important to recognise that, while SWEP provides a vital immediate response to help those sleeping rough, it does not address the root causes of rough sleeping. A more comprehensive approach is required, involving tailored support and assistance to address the complex issues individuals sleeping on the street face.
Learn more about the projects and services run by Thames Reach helping to end rough sleeping in London: https://thamesreach.org.uk/what-we-do/